Deal finally negotiated for beet growers between British Sugar and the NFU

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British Sugar and NFU Sugar have announced negotiations have concluded, and a deal has been agreed upon for the 2024/25 sugar beet contract.

It comes following months of talks between the two bodies to secure a deal for the 2,300 growers supplying beet to factories across the UK, which both parties agreed “has not served the industry well.”

They will offer growers a variety of options, including a £40 per tonne fixed price (as per the 2023/24 price), a £38 per tonne core price and a market-linked bonus, a Futures-linked option (for up to 35% of contract) and yield protection at a £1 per tonne reduction on the core/fixed contract price.

See also: Politicians urged to back UK farming policies in new NFU manifesto

Managing director at British Sugar Keith Packer said: “I am pleased that we have reached a contract offer for the 2024/25 growing season with NFU Sugar.

“We believe this offer represents great potential for growers and shows the long-term commitment British Sugar has to our homegrown sugar industry.

“This negotiation has been my first as Managing Director of British Sugar and I want to make sure that in the future we all do better for our growers. This is why it was important to agree a shorter timeline which will allow both ourselves and NFU Sugar to negotiate to a conclusion for an offer to be with growers by 30 October.

“The changes we have made will ensure that this is in place for next year’s negotiations.”

Some options have stayed the same, including the cash advance, late delivery allowance, local premium, and frost insurance options.

The NFU sugar board chair Michael Sly said that they wanted to thank growers for their support during the difficult negotiation period, and that “grower unity” was the key to securing the deal.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our industry is modernised and growers always receive a fair share of the value of the sugar that comes from their beet,” he said.

Contracting screens will open on Thursday 21 December, and growers in a 20 mile radius of any British Sugar factory will receive a local premium of up to £2, based on distance.

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