The pair, which represent the UK sugar beet sector’s only buyer and the farmers that supply it respectively, have been at loggerheads for several months over the terms of the beet contract.
British Sugar is understood to have offered farmers far less than the £40/tonne it paid out for the current season, despite a buoyant global sugar market.
This has prompted warnings that beet farmers could switch to other crops, which could drive British Sugar to have to import cane sugar at a higher cost.
The ABF-owned business has been accused by farmers of “abusing” its power as the monopsony buyer of the crop, though British Sugar said last month it was “confident our current proposal offers a very attractive return to growers”.
In a joint statement, the two bodies said the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution would assist the negotiation process.