Sugar beet price of £40 per tonne agreed for 2023-24 contract

NFU Sugar and British Sugar have today announced a sugar beet price of £40 per tonne for the 2023/24 contract year
NFU Sugar and British Sugar have today announced a sugar beet price of £40 per tonne for the 2023/24 contract year

There will be a beet price of £40 per tonne for the 2023-24 sugar beet contract year, representing a 48% price increase on last year.

The offer, announced by NFU Sugar and British Sugar, also includes a number of new options for growers to consider as part of the contract.

Farmers will have the choice to purchase a yield guarantee product that protects income against yield losses.

A ‘futures-linked’ variable price contract for the 2023/24 crop is included, enabling growers to make more dynamic pricing decisions for up to 20% of their contracts.

And farmers within 20 miles of any British Sugar factory will receive a local premium of up to £2, based on distance to the factory.

All growers with an existing 2023 commitment will automatically receive an upgrade to £32/t, from £25/t, which can updated further to £40/t if they commit to grow beet in 2024.

NFU Sugar board chair, Michael Sly welcomed the new contract, saying the offer represented a significant price increase on the previous one.

“With growers facing significant cost increases, and the prices of alternative crops having risen to unprecedented levels, I am glad we agreed on a contract offer that should keep sugar beet as a valued part of growers’ rotations.

“NFU Sugar has invested considerable time working constructively with British Sugar to reach this deal and this has allowed us to develop innovative features that will add value to growers.

“After a couple of challenging seasons, which highlighted the increased risks growers are facing, I am pleased we have found a pioneering way of allowing growers to mitigate their yield risk."

Paul Kenward, managing director of British Sugar, said the £40/tonne contract "offers growers a healthy margin even at today's high costs".

“We are confident that this straightforward, attractive offer provides choice, security and profitability during an extremely challenging time for all growers.

"On top of a compelling price, we have listened to calls for flexibility and growers now have an option to opt-in to the new risk mitigation option we are offering for yield protection, as well as a cash advance option for the 2023 crop."