Sugar industry warns of gas cuts ‘disaster’

HISTORY: The sugar industry is the last food sector to be affected by the war in Ukraine.

Concerns are growing that gas shortages could soon impact global production.

Stefan Streng is the head of the Association of Sugar Beet Growers in Southern Germany.

“So over the last three years the demand for sugar is greater than the production. So we’re actually in a situation where there’s not a lot of inventory in the world. So when we lose some of the world market the sugar harvest, the beet harvest and the sugar production, it means that we will have a big problem of supply and it will be a problem of supply for the whole world.

Sugar beets make up 32% of the world’s sugar supply.

The manufacturing process uses a relatively large amount of energy for a short period of time.

And Streng says most of that energy comes from coal, oil or gas.

“There are many factories that are 100% dependent on gas delivery, so they will not be able to start the campaign. And that means there is no sugar production at all. That means no beet cutting, no processing – so a big disaster for beet growers and for the sugar industry.

According to the International Confederation of European Beet Growers, the European Union is the third largest sugar producer in the world.

Rachel J. Bradford