British Sugar has piloted a new approach aimed at improving sugar beet deliveries.

The 2023/24 sugar beet campaign has seen the testing of a new system called the Adaptable Campaign Plan (ACP). Working together with growers, harvesters and hauliers, British Sugar is piloting a fair and transparent method of planning and communicating sugar beet deliveries within a contractor’s group of growers.

The ACP is part of a larger project called the Field-to-Factory Partnership, a significant change initiative aiming to improve the sugar beet campaign for growers, hauliers, harvesting contractors and the factory.

Growers in the ACP pilot have shared their preferred harvest and delivery dates for each field.

British Sugar then combines this with other field characteristics into a new system, which uses a complex algorithm to determine a fair running order.

This order is designed to be as close as possible to the growers' requests and maximises efficiency for the contractor as they move between farms.


Eastern Daily Press: British Sugar has launched a new approach that aims to improve and manage sugar beet deliveries British Sugar has launched a new approach that aims to improve and manage sugar beet deliveries (Image: British Sugar)
“The aim is to maximise satisfaction,” explained Justin Fletcher, strategic project manager at British Sugar.

“We want growers in the pilot haulage and harvester groups to have a plan for every field which is as close as possible to the one they requested, and for this to be geographically optimised to make it efficient for the haulier or harvester.

“The pilot intends to prove that adaptable campaign planning is possible, to test the logic behind the calculation creating the running order and to learn for coming campaigns,” Justin continued.

“Supporting our growers and contractors with access to planning and communication tools to give more accurate information should aid planning and improve the campaign experience for all.

“I am pleased with our progress and expect the ACP to be bigger and more sophisticated next season.”

All growers in the pilot are receiving regular personalised delivery orders on their own bespoke weblink throughout the campaign.

Cambridgeshire-based Knowles Transport is one of the largest hauliers into British Sugar’s Wissington factory in Norfolk and participates in the pilot.

“The ACP is a good idea,” said Richard Staines, bulk transport manager for Knowles Transport. “This campaign has been challenging because of the weather, but all our farmers have bought into the pilot. We have learnt some lessons to build on.

"With time to prepare over the summer, I expect things to progress for the next campaign."