Michael Sly re-elected as NFU Sugar board chair

09 March 2022

NFU Sugar
An image of NFU Sugar board chair Michael Sly pictured at NFU Conference in 2022

Following elections, Michael Sly has been re-elected as NFU Sugar board chair with Simon Smith re-elected to the position of vice chair. Hear what they said as the results were announced.

Cambridgeshire sugar beet grower Michael Sly has been re-elected as chair of the NFU Sugar board.

Mr Sly, who also grows wheat, barley, oilseed rape, peas, beans and mustard on his Fenland farm, continues in the position he has held since 2017.

Simon Smith, a sugar beet grower on the Cambridgeshire-Suffolk border, has been re-elected as vice chair.

He is one of the biggest sugar beet growers in the country and has been on the NFU Sugar board since 2015, after completing the Sugar Industry Programme.

“NFU Sugar is committed to representing growers at the highest levels of government and working with British Sugar to ensure the industry has a viable and long-term future. I’m pleased to continue this work alongside Simon.”
Michael Sly, NFU Sugar board chair

Mr Sly said: “I’m delighted to have been re-elected. This is a critical time for the home-grown sugar industry, with serious questions being asked by growers about the long-term viability of the crop amid increasing pest pressure, rising input costs and growing levels of imports of cane sugar.

“NFU Sugar is committed to representing growers at the highest levels of government and working with British Sugar to ensure the industry has a viable and long-term future. I’m pleased to continue this work alongside Simon.”

Mr Smith said: “The home-grown sugar industry is one of the most efficient in the world, with a fantastic farm to factory story, and I’m proud to represent growers alongside Michael.

“There are plenty of areas that are of critical importance to growers, from plant protection products and seed to haulage and sustainability, and I’m looking forward to continuing my work on behalf of beet growers.”

“There are plenty of areas that are of critical importance to growers, from plant protection products and seed, to haulage and sustainability, and I’m looking forward to continuing my work on behalf of beet growers.”
Simon Smith, NFU Sugar board vice chair

The board also re-elected Norfolk farmer Andrew Ross as the chair of NFU Sugar’s beet reception committee, which represents growers across British Sugar’s four factories.

He said: “NFU Sugar plays an absolutely critical role in British Sugar’s four factories, ensuring that growers are treated fairly and that their complaints or queries are heard and answered promptly by British Sugar. I’m pleased to have the support of the board to lead the committee and work with NFU Sugar’s staff in all four factories.”

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