Sugar industry warns of 'disaster' over gas cuts

STORY: The sugar industry is the latest food sector to be hit by the war in Ukraine.

Worries are rising that gas shortages may soon impact global production.

Stefan Streng is head of the Association of Southern German Sugar Beet Growers.

"So, during the last three years, the demand for sugar is higher than the production. So, we are actually in a situation that there is not a lot of stocks in the world. So, when we are losing a part of the worldwide sugar harvest, beet harvest and the sugar production, it means that we will have a big supply problem and this will be a supply problem for the whole world."

Sugar beets make up 32 percent of the world’s sugar supply.

The manufacturing process uses a relatively large amount of energy for a short period of time.

And Streng says most of that energy comes from coal, oil or gas.

"There are many factories that are 100% dependent on gas delivery, so they will not be able to start the campaign. And this means there is no sugar production at all. This means no beet cutting, no processing - so a big disaster for the beet growers and for the sugar industry."

According to the International Confederation of European Beet Growers, the European Union is the third largest sugar producer in the world.

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