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Where does the UK’s sugar come from?

We all love it. We consume it in great quantities. Quantities that are probably not so good for our health, but it makes virtually everything taste better and more palatable. We are, of course, talking about sugar. As we pour more sugar into our teas, coffees, shakes and hot chocolates has it ever occurred to you where this wonderful white powder comes from?

In a recent survey 6 out of 10 Britons questioned thought that sugar comes from far afield from places such as Brazil, the Caribbean, the United States, South Africa or even India. Only 1 in 4 people knew the right answer to the question.

While it is true that globally Brazil and the Caribbean are some of the world’s largest producers of sugar to satisfy the global demand, here in the United Kingdom we don’t import anywhere near the quantities that we once did. Why is this?

Brazil and the Caribbean countries grew sugar cane, here in the United Kingdom vast swathes of the low counties of Lincolnshire, Norfolk and the Fens are covered in crops of Sugar Beet. Over 50 per cent of the nations demand for the sweet stuff is satisfied by farmers bordering The Wash.

The remaining 50 odd per cent is imported not from far off countries but from the Continent in such countries as Belgium and the Netherlands where conditions are extremely similar to those found in Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire.

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