Following an exceptional year in 2017, the results of the 2018/2019 sugar beet campaign were characterized by an average yield that was slightly lower than the five-year average for Tereos Sugar France, and varied from one region to another, as well as the sound operating performance of the plants, where the “Ambitions 2022” plan is already largely underway.
In that context, the sugar beet business is recording strong momentum, including via the arrangement of new security support measures, the new animal feed offering, and good prospects involving experimenting with new outlets through the launch of an organic sugar beet channel.
Key points of the campaign:
- Despite a 5% decrease in sugar beet yields compared with the five-year average, which was primarily due to weather conditions during the summer of 2018, Tereos France’s nine sugar factories processed around 18 million tons of sugar beet over an average period of 124 days, which ranged from 110 to 130 days, depending on the regions.
- The autumn weather enabled a very high sugar content to be achieved.
- The flexibility of the industrial plant enabled rates to be adjusted, in order to guarantee the processing of the sugar beets while maximizing production.
- The efforts undertaken to improve the safety of our employees have enabled us to record significant improvements, including a 35% decrease in the number of accidents during this campaign.
- New services have been provided to livestock breeders in terms of animal feed thanks to the launch of Pulp’Mix; a new range of services that mixes the feed at the farm.
A mixed 2018 sugar beet campaign from an agronomic standpoint
The 2018 campaign was characterized by late sowing due to rainy conditions, which were followed by very hot summer weather that extended into the autumn. This penalized growth, and therefore yields, which displayed significant disparities depending on the region: around 80 tons to 16 per hectare for the sugar refineries in South Picardy, Champagne, and the South of Paris, and between 85 and 90 tons to 16 for the other Northern Picardy and Northern Pas-de-Calais Region plants.
However, the excellent harvest conditions favored the final uprooting of crops, which enabled a maximum of the sugar produced in the field to be retained and also enabled a record high sugar content to be achieved compared with the five-year average of between 18.5 and 19.5, depending on the regions.
This high sugar content, when combined with the low soil tare level1, had a favorable impact on the logistics for the transport of sugar beets from the field to the refinery by reducing the number of trucks required by 5%, and generating a positive environmental effect.
A high level of reliability, and major industrial flexibility throughout the campaign
Thanks to the performance plans and the investments made over the past few years, as well as the commitment of the operating teams, Tereos is once again upholding its strong performance and the reliability of its industrial plant over this campaign.
The flexibility applied at the plants has enabled the exceptionally high sugar content at some sites to be taken into account and the production of sugar to be optimized.
The Escaudoeuvres Logistics Center, which is the largest container loading center in the Hauts-de-France Region, upheld its excellent performance during its second year of operations, in line with the targets. Over 200,000 tons of sugar were exported via the Escaudoeuvres Center in 2018, and dispatched to rapidly-growing markets such as the Middle East, North Africa, and West Africa.
Safety: a campaign where great progress was made
As safety is a core priority for Tereos, the new initiatives launched this year have boosted employees’ safety and the safety of the logistics activities.
The initiatives implemented at each facility enabled the number of accidents recorded to decrease by 35% during this campaign.
Furthermore, Tereos renews and rolls out a large number of initiatives every year to boost road safety. These involve lay-outs for access to the silos, creating positions for “Road Safety Observers” who travel the roads in order to ensure that heavy goods vehicle drivers comply with the security rules, and the “Stop Safety” operations. It also organizes “Educational Workshops” based on a secure, environmentally friendly driving simulator. These workshops are offered to 350 heavy goods vehicle drivers.
Ever-increasing vigilance also reduces the impact of transporting the beets on neighboring residents.The soil tare consists of the soil that sticks to the beets, together with the leaves, stones, weeds, and wood etc. transported from the silo on the edge of the field to the sugar factory’s reception center.
New high added value services for livestock breeders
Tereos has confirmed its strong commitment to livestock breeders by prioritizing the delivery of compressed beet pulp, which results from beet processing. Beet pulp is popular with livestock breeders due to its nutritional attributes.
Accordingly, 1.5 million tons of compressed beet pulp was sold to around 4,000 livestock breeders in 2018, a level equivalent to 2017, despite the fall in the beet sugar content, to which the sale of dehydrated beet pulp should be added.
This campaign was also characterized by a range of new services for livestock breeders, including:
- the Ensil’Boudin system, in order to increase the storage capacity for silaging this beet pulp
- the launch of the Pulp’Mix service in the Attin (Pas-de-Calais) sector, Pulp’Mix enables the breeder to prepare a semi-complete or complete feed on the farm, which is a guarantee of performance for their livestock breeding, and a way for them to save time. This new concept is prepared in partnership with the livestock breeder’s animal feed formula designer.
Tereos is committed to sustainability
All of Tereos’ teams are committed to meeting new challenges and assisting the 12,000 cooperative partners in the highly competitive and volatile market context created by the end of the sugar quotas. By combining a long-term view, which enables foresight, and an entrepreneurial spirit, which enables new growth drivers to be found, Tereos has made a commitment to meet the market’s expectations for organic products, and to explore new outlets for sugar beets. During the 2019/2020 campaign, Tereos will launch its organic beet sugar division in France, with an initial production campaign at the Attin (Pas-de-Calais) site. The experiments conducted in mid-field this year by the agronomic team and the cooperative partners have enabled the initial benchmarks to be successfully established.
The Tereos teams boosted their support for the cooperative partners in terms of maximizing yields, in order to identify and implement alternatives to neonicotinoids, for example, via research into plant species, protecting plants, agronomy, and biocontrols throughout the 2018/2019 campaign.
Furthermore, the operating teams have rolled out initiatives at each facility and in the various businesses aimed at supporting changes to our activities, improving our performances from all standpoints (industrial, logistics, and commercial performance), and encouraging the involvement and commitment of our employees, as part of the Ambitions 2022 Plan. The performances that have already been achieved are extremely encouraging in view of the targets. The Ambitions 2022 plan, which was launched in 2018, follows on from the Cap
Excellence Plan, which aimed to prepare for the end of the quotas, which occurred in October 2017. It had resulted in savings of €130 million at the Tereos Group level, which were higher than the initial forecasts of €100 million.
Tereos in France
- The largest French sugar production group
- 12,000 cooperative partners
- 4,000 employees
- 20 industrial facilities
- Sugar Refineries/Distilleries: Artenay (Loiret), Attin (Pas-de-Calais), Boiry-Sainte-Rictrude (Pas-de-Calais), Bucy-le-Long (Aisne), Chevrières (Oise), Connantre & Morains (Marne), Escaudoeuvres (Nord), Lillers (Pas-de-Calais), Origny-Sainte-Benoîte (Aisne)
- Starch facilities: Haussimont (Marne), Lillebonne (Seine-Maritime), Marckolsheim (Bas-Rhin), Nesle (Somme)
- Packaging: Nantes (Loire-Atlantique), Thumeries (Nord)
- Dehydration plants: Anglure (Marne), Aulnay-aux-Planches (Marne), Montépreux (Marne), Pleurs (Marne)