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Putting the whole plant to good use

Our understanding of the composition and life cycle of sugar beet means that we find uses for every part of the plant, ensuring nothing goes to waste.

Harvesting

At harvest, beet leaves are cut off and left in the fields to be incorporated back into the soil. This recirculates some of the nutrients that the sugar beet has used for growth, improving soil fertility.

 

Water recycling

Around 75% of each sugar beet is water. We use this water in our factory processes, making our sugar factories almost entirely water self-sufficient. After use, the water is purified. As a result, our factories are net producers of clean water. Find out more about water and resource effectiveness.

 

Plant fibres

In our factories, we turn the beet’s fibres (along with some of its nutrients) into animal feed, used mainly for cattle.. We combine the remaining nutrient compounds in the sugar beet with the lime used in the sugar production process to form carbolime, a combined fertilizer and liming product.

 

Recirculating nutrients

During growth, the sugar beet picks up nutrients from the soil: nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, along with some micronutrients. We make sure that these nutrients are returned to agricultural soil in various ways.

The leaves are left in the beet field at harvest, carbolime is used as fertiliser and the nutrients in the feed products will eventually return to the earth as natural manure. All of this means that there is an almost perfect recirculation of nutrients from the sugar beet crop, which is rare for agricultural crops.