Looking ahead to 2022 – Michael Sly, Sugar

First published: 20 December 2021

Michael Sly in a field of sugar beet

As 2021 draws to a close, your board Chairs look ahead to a new year. Michael Sly, Chair of NFU Sugar, considers what lies in store for 2022.

NFU Sugar has a number of continuing priorities in 2022. First and foremost is the continued drive to secure contract prices for growers that account for the increased risks and costs of growing sugar beet, and offer returns that compare favourably with other land use options.

Risks and rewards

We will push forward the uptake of the innovative futures contract, which allows growers greater access to the risks and rewards in the sugar market; we see this model becoming more common across the EU and are proud to have developed it first for UK beet growers.

We will continue to help growers manage the significant disease pressures they face – through access to necessary plant protection products, biological methods and (longer term) gene edited technologies.

Newer technologies

As the current tarehouse is coming to the end of its life, NFU Sugar is working with British Sugar to identify newer testing technologies and ensure any replacement tarehouse is state of the art and fit for purpose.

We will continue to work to ensure that growers have access to the best seed technologies available.

We will also support industry work to increase growers’ understanding of the environmental impacts of sugar beet, to make sure growers can proactively benefit from the opportunities of the transition to net zero.

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