You are viewing the content for Thursday 16 February 2006

End is nigh for sugar beet

By Stephen Cadogan
SUGAR produced by Greencore in 2006 will be liable for a restructuring levy of €126.40 per tonne, said Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan last week.

She also announced that Ireland’s €145 million restructuring aid does not depend on beet being delivered in the year before sugar quota renunciation.

Both announcements are likely to prompt many of the 3,700 growers which Greencore says it needs, if the company is to process sugar beet this year, to opt for other crops instead.

As a result, the company is likely to declare the sugar industry officially dead in Ireland in early March, 2006.

The Minister has named the reference period for single payment compensation as the three-year average of individual farmers’ contracted beet tonnages in 2001, 2002 and 2004.

These payments, commencing this year, will total about €123m over the next seven years.