Sugar plan sours kit-makersshow

26 November 2000

Sugar plan sours kit-makers’show

By FWi staff

CONCERN over the future of the European Unions sugar regime has stirred up anxiety among machinery manufacturers exhibiting at the Royal Smithfield Show.

A proposal to cut Britains 25-40% quota reduction over two years could mean an end to the reliance on sugar beet as an income earner, the manufacturers claim.

Andy Bone, joint managing director of machinery importers Standen, said the plan threatened to kill off farms in East Anglia and the Midlands.

“If the full proposals being put forward by some parties were introduced, it would be a move so Draconian we would not be able to farm them,” he said.

The knock-on effects of the changes would hit other arable enterprises, added Tim Dowdeswell, managing director of the family-owned firm of the same name.

“When sugar beet is stable, it results in sales across most arable equipment.”

The UK machinery market has shrunk by 30% over the past three years, according to industry figures. Some manufactures expect a further 5% fall this year.

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