Diane Armitage, NFU sugar adviser discusses the challenges of highlighting the work done by British sugar growers to a public who may not even be aware what sugar beet is!
While the media is focussed on the sugar tax debate, it is important to remember that it would be a surprise for a vast section of the British public to discover that sugar is actually produced here in the UK. Our farmers produce over 50% of the UK’s sugar from a crop called sugar beet and we are one of the most efficient and sustainable producers of sugar in the world with the majority of the beet produced growing within 50 miles of the factory and all producers are Red Tractor assured.
The importance of educating the public and particularly the next generation about our industry has never been more imperative. NFU Sugar want to show the British public why our sugar beet growers are the best in the world and this is why it is important that sugar is the latest topic for the NFU Why Farming Matters videos. These videos which are aimed at 8 year old children have been developed co-operatively between the NFU and FACE (Farming and Countryside Education) and have already covered sectors such as beef, chicken, sheep and crops. This video provides a brief and informative introduction to the sugar beet industry and encourages children to think about what farming generally involves.
The Why Farming Matters sugar video is presented by sugar beet grower and NFU Sugar board member Graham Liddle and introduces children to the whole process of how growers produce sugar beet. This will be freely available to be used by the 30,000 teachers registered to FACE as well as to the general public via YouTube.
Alongside this video our NFU Sugar team remains dedicated to working on behalf of growers and our focus remains on the changes that will occur when quotas are removed in October 2017 which will represent a significant challenge for our industry. We continue to work on understanding how the dynamics of the EU and world sugar market may affect growers here in the UK.
In the meantime we are hoping that the general public embrace the great British sugar industry on the back of this video and hope you can share it where possible. Why not take a look below: