Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Richard Solari Farms (O7)

  As Managing Director of Richard Solari Farms Ltd farming in Shropshire I wish the Select Committee to consider the following implications should we face an uncontrolled future in the sugar industry:

  1.  As a family we have been growing sugar beet for 55 years supplying both Kidderminster and Allscott factories until the recent closure of Kidderminster. The crop has supported the livelihood of many families over the years and with a contract of 6,000 tonnes continues to support employment for not only farm workers but also a lorry driver. If sugar beet growing was to cease then three full time jobs would be lost.

  2.  From a crop rotation viewpoint sugar beet provides an environmentally beneficial break from cereal crops particularly with regard to soil structure.

  3.  Financially the sugar beet crop is a very important part of the overall income for our business which would be greatly missed.

  In conclusion I recommend the "Stable Market" option as a way for the sugar industry to plan for the future.

19 March 2004

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