Bitter sugar price tussle heading for arbitration

Farmers Guardian
Thursday, July 1, 2021
British Sugar and NFU Sugar could be heading to arbitration for the first time in history after a bitter tussle over the contract price for the 2022 crop. British Sugar has set out an indicative beet price of £25 per tonne for 2022/23. NFU Sugar has responded furiously, arguing that with current buoyant sugar market conditions and recent profits it can easily afford to pay growers a higher price. The most recent counter-offer made by NFU Sugar to British Sugar is a fixed price of £27.75/t on a one or two-year contract, including the opportunity for existing multi-year growers to upgrade if committing to both 2022 and 2023. Under the law, if British Sugar and NFU Sugar cannot agree on a price, the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs would need to act as or appoint an arbitrator, a process which could result in a decision as late as October 2022.
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