Frost insurance scheme triggered for sugar beet growers

An insurance policy which covers sugar beet growers for frost damage has been triggered following the recent spell of freezing weather.

NFU Sugar and British Sugar have confirmed that the 2022 frost insurance policy has been actioned after a further week of wintry weather in which temperatures have plunged below zero on successive nights.

See also: Sugar beet grower braced for losses after frost damage

Beet growers previously reported frost damage to large swathes of crops across England in a cold spell in late December, and the latest cold snap has inflicted further damage.

The frost insurance scheme, operated by rural insurer NFU Mutual, offers protection against total losses where crops cannot be delivered to processing factories due to frost damage.

British Sugar pays the premium with no cost to growers.

NFU Sugar has issued a step-by-step guide in a Twitter thread to the steps eligible growers should take to claim compensation for any losses.

NFU Sugar board chairman Michael Sly said: “Many sugar beet growers are suffering substantial yield losses and in a growing number of cases having to write off crops due to the hard frost in December and subsequent thaw.  

“We are relieved that the frost insurance policy will pay out. This will help offset some, but by no means all, of the losses growers are suffering from yet another poor year. We are working with British Sugar to manage the claim on growers’ behalf.  

“We continue to urge British Sugar to prioritise the worst affected crops for processing to help reduce the impact on growers.”

All eligible growers are covered if they submitted their crop declaration before September and unless they delivered their entire beet crop before 15 December.

British Sugar said it would work with NFU Sugar on growers’ behalf to ensure an effective and timely pay-out is coordinated. “All calculations will be carried out at the end of this year’s [harvest] campaign,” said a spokeswoman.

For further help, visit the NFU website, email or contact the helpline on 0370 066 1974.

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