Sugar Beet

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th January 2018.

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Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the UK beet sugar industry in (a) Bury St Edmunds, (b) the East of England and c) the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Leaving the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy gives us an opportunity to transform our agricultural policy into a fairer system that will help farm businesses across all sectors thrive. We are committed to delivering value for money to the taxpayer while supporting British agriculture and the environment. We will publish for consultation a command paper setting out our proposals later this Spring.

The Government’s manifesto commit to provide the same cash total in funding for farm support until the end of this parliament, expected in 2022. This offers a greater level of security and certainty for the UK farming sector than anywhere else in the EU, where funding is only guaranteed until 2020.

We are also committed to improving and simplifying our existing farm support systems. We have recently announced four new Countryside Stewardship offers, including an offer specifically for the arable sector, along with a simplified application process for 2018.

The Secretary of State recently met representatives of the sugar beet industry to hear the industry’s views. The removal of EU sugar beet quotas, which the government pressed for, allows British growers to move towards competing on a level-playing field with other sugar producers around the world, including by opening up export opportunities for beet sugar production.

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