Tate & Lyle confident about the future

Rowan Adams Director of corporate communications Tate & Lyle Sir; I am writing in response to the article 'Will Tate & Lyle like it or lump it?' (The Grocer, 10 November, p34). The article claims Tate & Lyle "does not appear to be... confident about the long-term prospects for the sugar industry, especially not in the UK". In fact, a company press release on 31 October said: "Our European sugar operation is a good business within an evolving industry and we are increasingly positive for the future once the EU Sugar Regime reforms are fully implemented in 2010." Tate & Lyle has consistently stated publicly that our cane sugar refineries offer a competitive and sustainable economic model for sugar production in Europe. This is still very much the case and recent actions we have taken to invest significant new capital in our sugars business for the long term (including new unloading cranes, a significant investment in a new biomass boiler, a joint venture with Eridania Sadam in Italy and a joint venture for raw sugar supply in Lao) all fully support this. I am also concerned about a number of statements concerning Splenda Sucralose. The article states sucralose has a 'strong aftertaste'. In fact, independent taste trials indicate the flavour and sweetness profile of Splenda is very similar to sugar. A "source close to PepsiCo" claims PepsiCo does not use Splenda Sucralose in its products. This, too, is incorrect. PepsiOne, Mountain Dew, Propel (in the US) and Diet Pepsi in Japan are just some of the PepsiCo brands that use Splenda. The article then states Splenda "rightly or wrongly has been linked to health scares". In fact, the safety of sucralose is well documented and sucralose has been approved for use in almost 80 countries to date. We recommend anyone with questions to visit www.sucralose.org. It also states "cost-cutting exercises over recent years have also affected [sucralose] supply". Again this is not true. Earlier supply constraints were caused by demand out-stripping supply. In response, Tate & Lyle has made significant investments in additional capacity, including a new Splenda plant in Singapore. I hope this letter clarifies Tate & Lyle's position.