Memorandum submitted by Richard Maddocks
As a farmer with a significant proportion of
my land and time attributed to the growing of Sugar Beet, I feel
compelled to write to you to put my case for the Sugar Beet Reform.
1. Of the 10 jobs that are generated by
this farm, four of the employees are involved with the production
of our Sugar Beet. As Sugar Beet is a wintertime crop it provides
employment on the farm at a time when no other crops require significant
2. We have our own lorry and driver whose
employment would be reduced by about 60% per year if he did not
haul our Sugar Beet and that of three other local farmers.
3. In addition to those people who are employed
directly by the farm there are also those whose expertise are
used indirectly such as our agronomist who spends 30% of his time
looking after the crop and also local businesses who supply equipment
and parts for machinery.
4. British Agriculture has already lost
70,000 jobs over the last five years. The Sugar Beet industry
supports 20,000 jobs at the moment, most of those in rural areas
where employment is struggling.
5. The only alternative crops, which could
be considered on this farm with its light land, would be cereal
crops, which are already over produced and also heavily subsidised.
6. From a resource point of view the food
miles, generated by us and our other local sugar beet producing
farms, is only 16 miles from the field to the factory. I believe
that the average food miles for British Sugar Beet, as a whole,
is only 130 miles unlike the thousands of miles that are involved
in importing Sugar Beet from other sources.
7. As a country we are already importing
50% of our Sugar Beet, to meet UK demand, from developing countries,
which is a unique position to be in compared with other sugar
8. As the UK only produces 50% of its total
Sugar requirement we obviously do not produce a surplus of our
quota and therefore we are not adding to those surpluses grown
in Europe with their associated export subsidies.
9. By producing our own Sugar Beet we have
the reassurance that it has been produced to high food quality
standards with full traceability. In fact the use of pesticides
on the sugar beet crop has reduced significantly over the last
10. The reduction in the use of pesticides
has had a knock on effect of providing valuable cover for birds
and other animals during the winter months on our farm and those
26 March 2004