Nordzucker predicts lower sugar harvest

Nordzucker sugar producer waits the group’s harvest will be below last year’s level due to drought in large parts of Europe.

The group will start processing sugar beets on September 3.

Nordzucker crop affected by drought

Nordzucker is starting its sugar production this year at its plant in Schladen, Germany, as part of the organic beet campaign.

The group processes beets from organic farming in Schladen, Nykøbing in Denmark and Kèdainiai in Lithuania at the start of each campaign.

Other Nordzucker factories in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia will start processing beets between September 11 and early October.

Despite a slightly higher sugar content than in previous years, Nordzucker predicted that the harvest will be slightly below average compared to previous years.

According to the group, the extreme drought observed in various places in Europe will lead to significant regional differences in beet yields.

The group plans to complete beet processing by the end of January 2023.

Processing of sugar cane at the group’s Australian factories has been underway since mid-June, the company noted.

Heavy rains had temporarily delayed harvesting and processing there.

A harvest above the level of the previous year is expected.

The group was previously confident about its performance for the year, but has readjusted its expectations.

Energy concerns

In many factories, Nordzucker had switched the energy supply to natural gas for energy and environmental reasons. It has reduced its CO2 emissions by 60% compared to 1990.

The group said the current uncertainty in gas supply and in the energy sector has led to particular challenges.

“Where possible and necessary, our colleagues have switched plants from gas as an energy source to oil since the end of February in order to secure the processing of sugar beet. In this short period of time, this is a tremendous achievement. “, Alexander Godow, chief operating officer, said.

“In this way, we secure the supply of our customers with sugar from sugar beets grown in the region. In addition, Nordzucker is helping to relieve the tight gas market for the benefit of all consumers,” he added.

The group noted that it expects to have enough gas available throughout the campaign, even in places where conversion has not been possible.

The current energy situation encourages Nordzucker to pursue its long-term strategy of producing biomethane from beet pulp to cover its own energy needs.

“Our goal is to move away from fossil fuels in the long term,” said Nordzucker CEO Dr. Lars Gorissen.

“In concrete terms, this means producing biomethane from beet pulp produced during sugar extraction to generate our own heat and electricity needs, thus becoming climate-neutral and energy self-sufficient. We are ready to start the associated investments once the political framework has been defined. in place,” he added.

© 2022 European supermarket magazine – your source for the latest supply chain news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click on subscribe register for ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

Rachel J. Bradford