Tuesday, August 21, 2018

£3m to be returned to sugar beet growers after EU court ruling

May 31, 2018 by  
Filed under Crops

Thousands of sugar beet growers owed some £3m in overpaid levies can expect to receive the money this autumn following a ruling by the European Union Court of Justice.

The court ruled that growers were historically overcharged by the EU Commission using a flawed method for calculating the now discontinued levy. Growers of sugar beet during 1999 and 2000 are now entitled to a repayment of both the overpayment, and the interest accrued.

Shared

The refund – more than £6m in total – will be split roughly equally between growers and British Sugar. British Sugar will make the repayments to growers, while the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will be responsible for making the repayment to British Sugar.

British Sugar managing director Paul Kenward said: “I am pleased we are able to confirm to growers that, after a considerable period of time, we can refund the right money to the right growers.”

Growers will receive a form from British Sugar to fill out in order to receive their repayment. Any grower who believes they are entitled to a refund and does not receive a letter is urged to contact the helpline British Sugar has set up on 01733 422153 in order to apply for the repayment.

NFU Sugar board chairman Michael Sly said some 8,750 growers would receive a refund. “British Sugar asked that the costs of administering this refund to growers is covered by the grower base and I am pleased to confirm that NFU Sugar will cover these costs on behalf of growers.”

Apply

Mr Sly said farmers should complete and return the British Sugar form to apply for their refund. “Growers can contact the dedicated helpline if they do not receive one or are in any doubt. The clock is ticking and we don’t want any grower to miss out.”

British Sugar and NFU Sugar are working with the RPA and hope to receive the payment around the end of September 2018. The repayment to growers will then come from British Sugar. Growers with questions should call British Sugar’s helpline on 01733 422153

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