Cristal Union lures farmers to grow sugar beet

French sugar and ethanol maker Cristal Union promised farmers high prices for their 2023 sugar beet harvest in a bid to secure suppliepass on the rise in price and costs to our consumers, Cristal Union Director General Xavier Astolfi said in an interview following a news conference to discuss its results.

It is reported by Successful Farming.

Astolfi provided an objective to pay 40 euros per tonne of sugar beet for the 2023 harvest, up from 29.37 euros in 2021 and 35 euros promised for the 2022 crop sown earlier this year that will be harvested in the fall.

Farmers needed to benefit from higher sugar and ethanol prices and be compensated for surging costs, including soaring fertilizer prices due to the war in Ukraine.

However, some uncertainty remained, notably on gas prices and supplies. Sugar mills are high gas-consuming factories.

After a 10% fall in area sown with sugar beet in the past five years, Cristal Union expects the area to stabilise as the higher price offered would prevent farmers from turning to grains, which saw their prices skyrocket, and being discouraged by diseases that ravaged crops in recent years.

Competitor Tereos, which declined to give a price for the next sugar beet harvests, anticipates a 10% fall in area by 2024 and cutting some capacity, possibly through the closure of a factory.