Memorandum submitted by Danisco Seed (O44)
Danisco Seed is an international company with
its headquarters are in Denmark. It is part of Danisco A/Sone
of the world's largest producers of ingredients for food and beverages.
Danisco Seed supplies new varieties of sugar
beet seed to the UK and other European markets. The UK market
is of strategic importance due to its relatively large size and
willingness to grow new varieties once they have proved in trials
that they are an improvement over the current varieties.
Danisco Seed supports Option 1 of the EU proposals
for reform of the sugar regime.
The UK beet sugar production industry is highly
integrated and efficient. There is a high level of co-operation
between the sugar beet growers, the supply industries and the
sugar producer. The UK industry as a whole has benefited, becoming
one of the most efficient producers in Europe. The UK consumer
has benefited from the availability of a safe, high quality product,
grown and produced with a high degree of environmental safety
and low food miles.
1. Sugar beet varieties and seed have a
long product development cycle. Using current traditional breeding
methods, it can take 10-15 years to develop a new variety to the
point where it is ready to introduce into UK statutory registration
2. The UK area has decreased over the last
10 years, largely due to varietal improvement and increased productivity
throughout the industry. A further decline in the UK crop area
would reduce the attractiveness of the UK market to the seed companies.
This would reduce the amount of research and development work
invested in developing varieties for this market.
3. A stable and profitable market is required
to stimulate investment in developing new varieties. Any stagnation
or decline of the beet sugar industry due to EU policy would be
exacerbated by reduced innovation from the seed companies.
4. If the focus was taken off the UK market
by the seed companies, it would be difficult to see how the position
could be recovered in the future.
5. Many future requirements, such as improved
disease tolerance, improved drought tolerance, reduced environmental
impact and improved productivity can only be met by genetic improvement
of varieties. The work of the seed companies is fundamental to
the future of the sugar beet crop.
30 March 2004