Find out about the Sugar Industry Programme

25 April 2022

An image showing the logo for the Sugar Industry Programme run by NFU Sugar and British Sugar

The Sugar Industry Programme is jointly funded by NFU Sugar and British Sugar. It provides opportunities for growers and industry professionals to learn more about the UK Sugar industry and develop their professional skills.

The 11th programme took place in 2021/22, providing participants with a 360-degree view of the industry. From seed breeding to parliamentary lobbying, the programme highlights all parts of the supply chain, including production and regulation.

Participants have the opportunity to meet with members of parliament, visit a farm to discuss best practice, and gain insight on upcoming varieties from a seed breeder. There are also visits to the Wissington Factory, BBRO, Germains Seed Technology and NFU Conference.

Alongside the scheduled visits, participants get key personal development opportunities such as:

  • Media training
  • Social media training
  • Presentation training

How to apply

Expressions of interest can be made to NFU Sugar at any time. Email Charlie Parkin stating your intention to apply for the next programme which will take place in 2023/24. Recruitment will take place in the summer of 2023. 

Example programme


  • Social media training, Germains tour (overnight stay), Kings Lynn, Norfolk
  • Wissington Factory tour, Wissington, Norfolk


  • British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO) visit, Norwich, Norfolk


  • KWS visit (overnight stay), Thriplow, Cambridgeshire
  • Westminster visit, including a visit to Parliament (overnight stay), Westminster, London


  • NFU Conference (overnight stay), Birmingham


  • Presentation training, NFU HQ tour, farewell (overnight stay). Stoneleigh, Warwickshire

Feedback from our 2021/22 participants

“For me, the highlight of the SIP (Sugar Industry Programme) was meeting people with differing perspectives and experiences that made the SIP so valuable. Interacting with people I don’t usually get to meet broadened my view on this exciting industry in which we work. New friendships formed through interesting, shared experiences such as the parliament visit. I would definitely recommend the programme.”
Wayne Tonge, BBRO

“The SIP has offered a great opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge about everything that happens outside the factory. It gave a great insight into all the work that goes in to provide what we see on the supermarket shelf and makes me proud to be part of the industry.”
Marcus Cox, British Sugar

“The SIP has been a fantastic opportunity to learn from key stakeholders about all aspects of the sugar industry from crop breeding programmes through to production, processing and policy. It was very enjoyable and has provided great contacts from across the industry. I would thoroughly recommend anyone that has the opportunity to go on the course to take it.”
Josh Crick, Brown & Co

“As a grower, the SIP provided a great opportunity to see the industry beyond the farm gate, from factory to finish, as well as all the great work that goes into breeding and seed production before it reaches the farm gate. It is a great chance to network and I would highly recommend it.”
Rob Woodhouse, grower

“The SIP has been a unique experience with a chance to meet like minded people and it has given me the opportunity to have access to the wider industry. Following a couple of testing years for sugar beet growing and the huge volatility currently being faced across the whole agricultural sector, it’s been great to see so much enthusiasm for sugar beet growing in the UK and here’s to a profitable future for the crop.”
George Daniel, grower

“I knew the Sugar Industry Programme was going to be a brilliant opportunity but the total experience was beyond my initial expectations. From a technical perspective, it was fascinating to visit Germain’s and KWS to explore the work they do with beet seed and pelleting. However, my SIP highlights would be visiting Parliament and Westminster closely followed by the tour of Wissington sugar factory. I was taken aback seeing the full process from beet intake and washing through to LimeX production and packing the finished sugar product. I would highly recommend this programme in the future to anyone working with sugar beet!”
Alice Clews, agronomist

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