A centenary celebration of the British beet sugar industry started yesterday.

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British Sugar and the National Farmers’ Union launched a new 
logo (right) to mark the 100th anniversary of the Cantley factory, which was built on the banks of the River Yare in 1912.

Gino De Jaegher, who is British Sugar’s managing director, said: “We are all incredibly proud of this important milestone. By continuing to work together, we look forward to ensuring we have a beet sugar industry that drives continued innovation and sustainability for the next 100 years.”

The Cantley factory was the first beet sugar factory to be built after earlier ventures in the 19th century in Suffolk and Essex failed.

Today, it is one of four British 
Sugar factories, which process 
about 7.5m tonnes of beet from about 4,000 growers across eastern England.

Fenland farmer William Martin, who is chairman of the NFU 
Sugar Board, said: “100 years of sugar beet processing is a great achievement by the whole UK beet sugar industry.

“Growers continue to adapt and improve our sugar beet growing, in the same way as British Sugar has made gains in processing efficiency at Cantley and other factories. The industry continues to evolve, and we look forward to supplying sugar beet for the next 100 years,” he added.

Sugar beet yields have been rising faster than those of any other UK arable crop – 60pc since 1980.

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