Beet growers offered 25% interest free cash advance

A cash advance of 25% has been announced by British Sugar and NFU Sugar ahead of the 2022-23 season to help ease pressure on beet growers.

The advance payment is interest-free and is due to be paid to farmers during the third week of June.

The advance is about four months ahead of when growers would typically receive payment, as it is usually made about four weeks after delivery to the factory.

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To be eligible, growers will have to opt in to the scheme, complete the current year’s crop area declaration by 8 June and have held contracts with British Sugar for each of the past three years.

Farm businesses that do not meet these requirements are still able to discuss potential eligibility with account managers at British Sugar.

Dan Green, agriculture director at British Sugar, said: “With recent levels of inflation resulting in higher input prices, sugar beet growers are facing unexpected and increased pressures. We have worked with NFU Sugar to provide some practical help in these extraordinary circumstances.

“We acknowledge, more than ever, that growing sugar beet is a partnership between growers, industry partners and us as the processor. We hope this cash advance, together with the work of the Field-to-Factory Partnership, give growers the confidence to invest in sugar beet in the long term.”

NFU Sugar board chairman Michael Sly said: “With growers across the country facing extreme inflationary pressures, I’m pleased that we have been able to work with British Sugar to offer growers a cash advance on their 2022 crop.

“Cashflow is incredibly important for a farm business, and when prices of key inputs have risen so sharply, this early cash injection will provide some relief for British sugar beet growers.”

An outcome to negotiations between British Sugar and NFU Sugar for the 2023-24 contract is yet to be finalised.

British Sugar works with about 3,000 growers to process 8m tonnes of sugar beet annually, and produces 1.2m tonnes of sugar.