Sugar factory opening dates announced

British Sugar has announced the start dates for the 2008/ 09 sugar beet processing campaign.

Newark and Wissington factories will accept loads from Wednesday 17 September, while Bury St Edmunds and Cantley open on Tuesday 30 September.

“Our growers are always keen to know the campaign starts dates as soon as possible, so this announcement will help give them time to plan their sugar beet harvesting programme for this season,” BS head of agriculture, Colm McKay said. “British Sugar’s area managers will be in close liaison with growers and hauliers as part of this process.”

Meanwhile, the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) has urged contractors affected by the closure of the York and Alscott factories to register their interest in compensation available under the EU’s sugar restructuring scheme.

“In the affected areas many had invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in specialized machinery, yet suddenly they had no work to carry out and very few options to replace the business lost,” NAAC chief executive Jill Hewitt said.

“This has resulted in extreme financial pressure and these contractors deserve every penny they are paid”.

Name, address and telephone number should be sent to: Sugar Restructuring Team, Rural Payments Agency, PO Box 1058, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE99 4YQ. Or email sugarrestructuring@rpa.gsi.gov.uk