Early Delivery Allowance welcome but announced far too late

31 August 2023

Sugar beet

A new delivery allowance offered by British Sugar for growers to deliver beet in September is welcomed but comes too late for many growers.

British Sugar’s announcement of an EDA (Early Delivery Allowance) for 2023 has come far too late to enable many growers to change their plans to benefit from it. NFU Sugar welcomes the scheme which it has been calling on British Sugar to introduce for months. However, we are disappointed that British Sugar waited until only 5 days before the campaign begins to announce it, given that an early start to the 2023 campaign was known about since January.

Executed correctly and planned in advance, the EDA has the potential to solve British Sugar’s perennial challenge of slow beet deliveries early in the campaign. In addition, it can spread contactor workload more smoothly and help those growers who wish to lift early maintain beet in their rotation.

Michael Sly, NFU Sugar Board chair explains: "Many growers will have sprayed crops recently, many harvesters will be undergoing maintenance with staff potentially absent or working elsewhere in the business in September, and many hauliers will already be committed to other work. All of these will prevent growers from delivering beet early who could otherwise take advantage of the EDA to service British Sugar’s need."

NFU Sugar was not given the opportunity to agree the details before British Sugar announced the EDA. As discussions for 2024 are ongoing, it is essential British Sugar executes the EDA in future contracts in a timely, planned and appropriate manner so that all parties can reap the benefits.

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