Memorandum submitted by E P Cooper &
Paul Cooper is a partner in the farming business
of E P Cooper & Son, and managing director of Paul Cooper
Transport Ltd, which will both be affected by the reform of the
Sugar Beet Regime.
E P Cooper & Son is a family farm which
has been growing Sugar Beet from the 1930s, originally taking
the crop into the now closed factory at Selby, North Yorkshire.
E P Cooper & Son has a Sugar beet quota of over 3,000 tonnes,
which we deliver via Paul Cooper Transport Ltd which is run alongside
E P Cooper & Son. Paul Cooper Transport Ltd has, in turn,
been delivering Sugar Beet to British Sugar for over 30 years.
I would therefore like to make the following
points regarding the reform of the Sugar beet regime.
1. At E P Cooper & SonSugar Beet
is not only a valuable part of the farm income , but is also a
valuable break crop in the farm rotation. E P Cooper & Son
have entered into to the Countryside Stewardship Scheme which
aims to promote wildlife and birds. Defra have stated that Sugar
Beet growing benefits bird life.
In the context of air pollution and locally
sourced supplies, E P Cooper & Son are only 30 miles away
from the Sugar beet factory at York. Therefore transporting locally
cuts down on air pollutants.
E P Cooper & Son are also Farm Assured,
which means that we produce Sugar Beet to good environmental standards.
The farm employs three full time workers, and
two other part time workers. If the amount of Sugar Beet we grew
decreased dramatically this would of course affect their employment,
as they are all involved in the individual stages of growth through
2. Paul Cooper Transport Ltddelivers
Sugar Beet into the York factory for 46 local farmers as well
as ourselves, at a total of over 35,000 tonnes. Once again any
decrease in the amount of Sugar beet grown by ourselves or any
local farmers will have a catastrophic affect on our business,
reducing once again our income. We have also invested in wagon
units, tipping trailers, expensive loading and cleaning machines
to improve our business. Four drivers are also employed to deliver
the sugar beet into the factory, and of course these would not
Paul Cooper Transport delivers to York Sugar
beet factory within a 30 miles radius for most of its farmers
, as well as E P Cooper & Son. The sugar produced from York
is also used in large amounts locally by Coca Cola and some of
the sweet factories for which York is renowned. Locally sourced
Sugar beet therefore once again cuts down on haulage miles and
subsequently air pollution.
3. The Rural EconomyA reduction in
the amount of Sugar beet grown in any way would have a dire affect
on the rural economy. Contractors who have made investments in
the machinery needed to plant, grow and harvest Sugar beet would
face financial ruin. Many jobs would be lost. Once again the rural
economy already in decline would suffer. The face of all the countryside
in the British Isles could be changed forever.
The workforce at the Sugar Beet factories would
also not be needed, again more unemployment. The knock on effect
from this would be felt in the areas income, down to the transport
café supplying the lorry drivers with their morning fry
I therefore would like to recommend that Sugar
Beet reform go down the path of Option 1Stable Market.
A stable market option would allow the British
Sugar Beet industry to continue in a modified format, therefore
retaining all the benefits that the British Sugar Beet industry
has strived to produce. The burden of reform should be shared
equally by all countries, not at the expense of one country which
can grow Sugar Beet economically and environmentally like we do
in Britain. A globalisation/liberal market would I feel also be
catastrophic not only to Europe but to developing countries. This
cannot be allowed to happen.
I hope that my opinions will be of some help
in formulating the inquiries' position in regards to the reform
of the EU sugar regime. I hope that ultimately reform is reached
that benefits all countries concerned.
16 March 2004