All UK sugar beet growers now have the chance to take advantage of the world’s first ever sugar beet pricing tool, meaning thousands of British growers can choose to manage and fix a portion of their own sugar beet prices.
The platform has been developed by NFU Sugar and delivered by Czapp, with support of British Sugar. It will allow growers to take advantage of new futures-based contracts, agreed between NFU Sugar and British Sugar in its latest contract offer. This means growers can lock in prices when they are attractive and reap potential commercial advantage.
The platform’s launch follows a highly successful pilot programme that ran last year, and the platform is now open to all growers who work with British Sugar. The platform’s home, Czapp, is Czarnikow (CZ)’s market portal, a one-stop-shop for market data, pricing and purchasing in the food, agricultural and energy markets. CZ is a supply chain services company with 160 years of experience in the sugar industry that has price risk management as a core part of its business.
Jonathan Williams, Director at CZ, says; “We were delighted by the success of the pilot project launched this time last year. The ease of use and positive feedback from users gave the NFU and British Sugar the confidence to open the project to all growers, and the grower uptake for the second year has been excellent. The success has led to a huge amount of interest from other grower organisations and EU producers and we expect the volume of sugar beet that is priced independently to grow exponentially across Europe in coming years. A number of farmers of other agricultural crops have also shown interest in the ease of access to the market, and we expect these discussions to progress during next year.”
NFU Sugar have developed the programme as a response to calls from growers for more control over their sugar prices. NFU Sugar board chairman Michael Sly says; “I am hugely excited about the opportunity for growers to take sugar beet pricing decisions into their own hands. This provides a win-win opportunity for the UK sugar beet industry and, for the first time, allows growers to transparently see the value of the sugar in the crop they are growing.”
Commenting on his role in the project, British Sugar’s Peter Watson says; “We are pleased that after a successful pilot this contract type is now available for all growers. We know some growers want to take more risk and price their own crop and this allows them to do exactly that. We’re pleased to have worked together with NFU Sugar on this innovation for our homegrown sugar industry”.