British Sugar plc is throwing open its doors to fellow regional businesses as part of a series of factory visits organised by the Food and Drink iNet.

Representatives from food and drink companies across the East Midlands are attending the Newark factory visit on January 28th 2010.

It is one of three being organised across the region by the Food and Drink iNet to highlight best practice ways of working. The aim of the visits is to encourage more efficient and effective production across the East Midlands food and drink sector.

Aimed at food and drink manufacturers and academics linked to the food industry, the visits have been designed to illustrate how firms can keep ahead of their competition.

The series began with a visit to Molson Coors Brewery, Burton-upon-Trent, in October and continues with a visit to Rolls-Royce in Derby on February 4th.

”Companies can learn a lot from each other, and we are delighted that British Sugar plc is hosting this visit and sharing some of its best practice ideas,” said Peter Maycock, Food and Drink iNet director. “Interest from fellow East Midlands companies wanting to attend these visits organised by the Food and Drink iNet has been high, and I’m sure those who go on the British Sugar plc visit to Newark will benefit from seeing at first hand the tools and techniques used by the business.”

The British Sugar plc visit will give companies the opportunity to see how the firm stays at the top through resource efficiency, lean manufacturing, problem solving, coaching and cultural changes in production practices, added Peter.

Bob Howe, Newark British Sugar plc factory manager, said: “The Newark factory aims to be the best performing factory in the British Sugar group, and has a long history stretching back to 1921. We are delighted to be hosting this visit organised by the Food and Drink iNet, so that we can show fellow businesses in the region how the factory has developed and progressed, and how we are continuing the success story.”

British Sugar plc is the leading supplier of sugar to the UK market, supplying more than half of the country’s sugar requirement. The Newark factory is one of four processing units that extract sugar from homegrown sugar beet. It supplies 200,000 tonnes of sugar to food and drink manufacturers in the UK and Europe.

David Wallace, Innovation Director of East Midlands Development Agency (emda) which funds the Food and Drink iNet, said: “These factory visits aim to promote best practice to managers of other regional food and drink businesses who want to develop their own companies. We recognise the importance of people coming together to share expertise and knowledge, it is one of the reasons why the iNets were established, and I am sure that the people who go on these visits will all learn something new that they can apply in their own businesses.”

The Food and Drink iNet aims to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It also hopes to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector.

Funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda), the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday, Nottingham Trent University, The University of Lincoln, and The University of Nottingham.

The visit has proved popular and places are currently fully booked, but to go on the reserve list, contact 01664 420066 or

For more information about the Food and Drink iNet visit