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Less sugar beet will be processed at British Sugar's Cantley factory in Norfolk as the company strives to improve efficiencies and reduce greenhouse gas... Changes ahead for Cantley beet factory – British Sugar

• Flow of beet to be optimised

• Goal to improve efficiencies

• Carbon emissions reduced

Less sugar beet will be processed at British Sugar’s Cantley factory in Norfolk as the company strives to improve efficiencies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

British Sugar said the move was part of its commitment to a thriving homegrown sugar industry and ambitious climate change plans. Changes implemented at Cantley this year would support these ambitions, it added.

British Sugar managing director Paul Kenward said: “In order to reflect fluctuating sugar beet production, we will be optimising the flow of beet between our four factories – as we do every year.

Factory transport

“We need to minimise the distance beet travels, and ensure our factories are kept fully supplied, so we can continue to meet our customer requirements. For the 2022/23 campaign, this will mean that Cantley will materially reduce the amount of sugar beet it processes on a daily basis.

In addition, to reduce carbon emissions, Cantley will stop drying beet pulp for animal feed after most of the sugar has been extracted. It will then permanently turn off its coal dryer at Cantley, saving about 25,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions annually.

“We will move the pulp to Bury instead, where it can be dried with cleaner fuels, or fermented in our anaerobic digestion plant into green biogas,” said Mr Kenward.

Staff roles

The changes will see a 10% reduction in the number of staff roles required at the Cantley site. Nine people affected by have been consulted and will be found opportunities at other British Sugar sites, or wider opportunities within parent company ABF.

“Cantley is very much an integral part of our four site strategy. We fully intend to continue to optimise our significant and strategically important operations there,” said Mr Kenward.

“The site will be used to test and trial different initiatives, intended to help us secure the long term future of the industry. This year, among many other investments, we will invest £1.25m in automation and a private 4G Network at the site.”

As the sole processor of the UK’s sugar beet crop, British Sugar works with around 3,000 growers across eastern England. It processes around 8m tonnes of sugar beet annually, producing up to 1.2m tonnes of sugar.