Memorandum submitted by Dawson Bros (O36)
We in our company have invested over
£400,000 in specialist sugar beet equipment. We purchased
one of the first nine row beet harvesters to come into the UK
two years ago. We also purchased a very large CTM beet cleaner
with picking off table three years ago. We have just designed
and constructed a three axle-tipping trailer to work with the
harvester minimising ground compact in the field.
Sugar beet is our main work in the
winter months as we also haul sugar beet to Newark and Wissington
factories. This finds work for five out of our eight lorries and
our complete sugar beet operation employs nine people.
It would be impossible to replace
this work, as in this part of the country, sugar beet is a main
break crop for many farmers.
The economy of the district would
be devastated and being a very rural area the majority of industries
are connected to farming. This means that there is no scope to
switch our vehicles to other work.
The UK's beet industry is one of
the most competitive in the EU. Sugar beet productivity is consistently
amongst the highest in Europe. Sugar beet growing contributes
to sustainable development and biodiversity and is one of the
most valuable break crops in Britain.
I support Option 1 reform of the
European sugar sector providing this is balanced and leads to
a stable market, which enables efficient industries to operate
and invest sustainably for the future.
29 March 2004