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Stackyard News Jul 06

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MP Fights For Shropshire Sugar Factory

Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury & Atcham, has today hit out at plans by British Sugar to close the sugar factory at Allscott.

Sugar Beet Harvesting
courtesy of

Sugar Beet Harvesting

The Allscott factory, which employs up to 150 staff at peak times, is to be closed after the 2006/2007 season, it was confirmed today by British Sugar Corporate Affairs Director, Mr Chris Carter. This bombshell results from the company's decision to concentrate sugar beet processing in four sites in the UK, not including the Shropshire factory.

"I am deeply concerned at this news," said Mr Kawczynski, "which has apparently been brought about by the reform of the EU sugar regime. As well as the staff at the sugar factory itself, there are 650 sugar beet farmers who supply Allscott, whose livelihoods are now in jeopardy."

Mr Kawczynski has immediately contacted the Chief Executive of British Sugar, to ask him to reconsider the plan to close the Allscott site. In particular, he has suggested that the plant should be considered for conversion to a bio-ethanol production site, which would safeguard jobs at the factory and the livelihoods of Shropshire sugar beet farmers, as well as promoting the availability of renewable road fuels.

"I have also written to the Secretary of State for the Department of the Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs," explained Mr Kawczynski, "to ask for his help in finding alternative markets for our Shropshire sugar beet farmers."

* Sugar beet averaging nearly one million tonnes at a value of over £25m per year is purchased by the Allscott sugar factory from 650 sugar beet farmers.

The factory process up to 6,000 tonnes of sugar beet per day, producing around 500 tonnes of crystal sugar, plus by products such as molassed sugar beet feed.

The factory produced its own electricity and effluent treatment ponds on site are home to various rare species of birds.

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