End of sugar quotas - NFU comment

sugar beet growing_16144

On 30 September, the EU's quotas on sugar are being abolished. Without quotas in place, the UK home-grown sugar industry is free to sell and export without restriction.

The UK sugar quota had been 1.056 million tonnes, for products intended for human consumption. Sugar beet producers across the EU were also subject to export limits at the EU level.

UK sugar consumption is around 2Mt, of which approximately 60% is supplied by home-grown sugar and the remainder supplied by imported cane and beet sugar form the EU and the rest of the world.

The home-grown sugar industry is made up of over 3,000 UK sugar beet growers represented by NFU Sugar, and the sole processor of sugar beet in the UK, British Sugar.

NFU comment

NFU Sugar board chairman Michael Sly said: “The end of quotas offers sugar beet growers a huge opportunity to increase the area of sugar beet grown in the UK. We could grow enough to produce an additional half a million tonnes of home-grown sugar over and above the former national quota, depending on market conditions. 

Michael Sly, NFU Sugar Board Chairman_41672

“That would clearly make the UK less dependent on imported sugar and benefit the rural economy. The sugar industry alone supports over 9,500 jobs in the East Midlands and East Anglia regions. It is an important break crop in a grower’s rotation, as well as providing significant benefits to the wider environment.

“As one of the most productive and efficient sugar producers in the world, the UK home grown sugar sector can take advantage of the end of quotas to grow its share of the domestic market and grow its export markets across the world.” 

Last edited on: 28:09:2017

Share this story:

NFU members: Have your say

Want to share your views? You must be logged in to comment – please login here. Not a member? Join us here.

Back to NFU Sugar home page


NFU Sugar Helpline:
0370 066 1974

Follow us @NFUSugar

Find your nearest board member


UK sugar beet growers' frost insurance policy details for the 2018/19 campaign.

News and information about beet reception, includes reports and grading information, whole beet sampling and more.

Sugar and sugar beet markets at your fingertips, including sugar market updates, the beet price bonus tracker and the monthly 'Flashmarket' from WABCG.

Links to information for growers and organisations which play a key part in the British and global sugar industry.

Important information - factory details, glossary of terms, board roles and responsibilities and key dates.

nfu sugar board

Find out who's who on the NFU Sugar Board - read their biographies here.

NFU Representatives

sugar factories Bury St. Edmunds Wissington Cantley Newark

Click on the map to find further details of your beet intake teams at each British Sugar factory.

© 2019 - NFU Online