NFU Sugar has outlined its response to news that leading sugar beet harvesting and haulage business, M and J Haulage Ltd has been placed in administration.
The Lincolnshire-based company, which harvests and hauls sugar beet on behalf of British Sugar, could heavily impact growers.
NFU Sugar, which represents all growers of sugar beet, has organised a meeting of growers who were relying on M and J Haulage to harvest, load or haul their beet this campaign.
Growers in this position are being urged to call NFU Sugar’s helpline (0370 066 1974) to register to attend the meeting, which will be held on Wednesday (18 October) in Newark.
NFU Sugar Chairman, Michael Sly said: “Our thoughts are with M and J’s employees and with everyone affected by this sad situation.
“M and J Haulage Ltd were pioneers of the Industry Harvest and Haulage Scheme – created to build best practice and efficiency in sugar beet harvesting, loading and haulage.
“M and J’s demise not only creates huge challenges for growers, who may now struggle to find a replacement contractor to harvest and deliver their beet, but also brings into question the effectiveness of the Industry Harvest and Haulage Scheme and its ability to deliver a sustainable supply chain from field to factory.
Mr Sly continued: “We have noted British Sugar’s assertion that contingency plans are in place for such instances, and that they do not anticipate any significant delays due to the loss of M and J Haulage Ltd. NFU Sugar urges British Sugar to share their plans with growers as soon as possible."
Mr Sly also outlined his concerns about other supply chain issues at British Sugar factories in the first few weeks of the campaign.
Multiple breakdowns have already meant delays for growers in harvesting and hauling beet.
“We are calling on British Sugar to invest in its four factories and supply chain to ensure they operate effectively. This will go some way to ensuring the home grown sugar industry continues to thrive in the post-quota world," Mr Sly explained.