The lifting of EU restrictions on sugar production and exports will lead to a surge in sugar beet cultivation in the Netherlands, according to sugar cooperative Suiker Unie.
‘The Netherlands is a middle-sized player but we cultivate and produce much more efficiently than in other sugar producing countries,’ director Albert Markusse told broadcaster NOS. ‘We produce 14 tonnes a hectare while Italy grows eight tonnes… and partly due to our good infrastructure and ports, we are going to export more.’
In total, Suikder Unie expects the production of sugar beet to rise by 20% to 25%.
Asked what should be done with all the extra sugar given concerns about the rise in obestiy, Markusse said: ‘Of course you need to take exercise and you should not use too much sugar. But worldwide, the market is growing by three million tonnes a year. That is some three times the total Dutch production, so there are opportunities.’
In addition, sugar is increasingly being used in the production of bioplastics which also offers growth opportunities, Markusse said.
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