By FW staff

BRITISH Sugars proposal to take over transport of beet has been rejected by the NFU, which describes it as an unacceptable extension of BSs monopoly.

Matt Twidale, NFU sugar beet committee chairman, said the decision had been taken after careful study and wide consultation with growers.

“Not one grower who has contacted me has been in favour. They have expressed grave concern over the suggestion.” Farmers want to control their own transport, he says. That gives them flexibility over loading and cleaning times, which would be lost if bigger trucks with tight turnaround times were used.

Beet hauling also spreads the cost of running a lorry.

BSs Clive Francis reckons the move would generate about £5 million which could be incorporated into contracts as guaranteed payments. “We are disappointed with the NFUs comments because we feel growers would find our latest proposals acceptable and give them a real benefit.”