Nordzucker has announced the commencement of its sugar beet campaign, saying that it has upped the level of hygiene and safety measures at its processing plants due to COVID-19.
The firm is expecting sugar beet yields to be average, with the current campaign scheduled to end in January 2021.
"Our colleagues in the plants have prepared the factories well for the campaign, even under the challenging conditions," commented Axel Aumüller, the company's chief operating officer.
"Our hygiene measures for COVID-19 have been implemented in the plants, the primary goal is and remains the prevention of infections. We were also able to implement our investments in the warehousing and logistics areas during the preparation phase. We have the market and the quality requirements of our customers firmly in mind."
The first sugar beets of the crop year were processed into organic sugar at the company's Schladen factory from yesterday, with the firm's Opalenica in Poland coming on stream today, and other facilities in the coming days.
According to Nordzucker, this year's crop was affected by some early drought in many areas, with 'significantly too little precipitation over the growing season' in some regions during the summer.
It said that parts of Germany, Poland and Lithuania were particularly affected by the challenged conditions, however rainfall towards the end of the summer enabled production to increase.
"Overall, we expect an average level of yields for the Group," commented Dr. Lars Gorissen, Nordzucker CEO.
"We expect stable and balanced conditions on the European and global sugar market. The COVID-19 pandemic subsequently only had a slight dampening effect on demand following the hoarding in March."
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.