Case study


14 October 2019

Investing in our Co-Products

Our four factories all operate an advanced manufacturing model that avoids waste by turning the outputs from the process required to make sugar from sugar beet into inputs for a wide range of co-products. These include aggregate, topsoil and animal feed and make the best use of all our available resources to minimise cost and operate efficiently and responsibly.

This focus on driving-up productivity has huge environmental benefits, including lower waste and carbon emissions. In fact, our processes result in less than 200 grams of waste for every tonne of sugar produced – virtually zero waste.

One of the co-products we make is an agricultural liming product used for soil conditioning – making use of the waste lime material once the sugar has been extracted from the sugar beet. Each year approximately 300,000 tonnes of liming product is made at our factories and marketed under the LimeX brand.

LimeX provides a sustainable option to amend soil pH and increase available calcium. It significantly reduces the volume of limestone and chalk that would otherwise be quarried and crushed for agriculture and other lime markets.

We also want to continuously improve the quality of our co-products which is why we have recently invested £6.8m in the latest technology to allow us to produce LimeX 70 at our Cantley factory. The new plant, which began operations at the start of the 2019 sugar beet campaign, means that all four British Sugar factories can now produce this better quality product, which is drier and easier to handle for our farming customers.

The investment means that we can provide LimeX 70 to farmers in the Cantley factory area without having to import it from other British Sugar factories at greater distance and cost, thus also reducing the environmental impact. Cantley will now be able to produce around 300 tonnes of LimeX 70 per day in campaign.

Glenn Carlisle, LimeX Sales Manager said, “Another key benefit of LimeX 70 is its suitability for backloading – meaning that returning lorries during the campaign can take the opportunity to return to farm with LimeX 70 to keep costs and environmental impact to a minimum. LimeX offers excellent value for money – even more so for customers who take advantage of backloading.”