March 25, 2023

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The Luduș Sugar Factory, saved by farmers. Beet growers have entered into an agreement to purchase it

The second largest sugar factory in Romania will be saved by beet growers.

The executive director of the Mureş County Agriculture Directorate (DAJ), Ileana Guşatu, said on Thursday, for AGERPRES, that following the negotiations between the Romanian beet growers and the patronage of the Luduş sugar factory, Tereos SA, an agreement in principle was reached through the signing of a memorandum of purchase of the factory by the Romanian farmers, but the consent of the parent company in France is also needed.

“Yesterday, October 12, the farmers from the Transylvania area, the sugar beet growers, had a new meeting with the French management of the Tereos sugar factory in order to continue the negotiations regarding the purchase of this factory. An agreement in principle was reached by signing a memorandum for the purchase of the factory by the Romanian farmers. However, in order to complete the purchase procedure, the opinion of the parent company in France is needed, a decisive document in this process, which we hope they will receive and then this memorandum will be able to turn into a sale-purchase contract. Farmers are optimistic in this sense that they will receive the approval and that they will be able to purchase this factory,” said Ileana Guşatu.

The executive director of DAJ Mureş expressed his hope that that agreement will be obtained in a few days, so that the Luduş Sugar Factory can resume its activity.

“I hope that in a few days the necessary approval can be obtained so that the factory can resume its activity and that farmers are supported and at the same time encouraged to cultivate sugar beet. It would be a shame to lose this important crop for our country. There is only one factory left in the country out of the 33, especially since our area, the Transylvania area, is a suitable area for this culture”, said Ileana Guşatu.

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According to the cited source, only 350 hectares of sugar beet were cultivated in Mureş county this year, although in previous years beet was cultivated on 4,000 hectares.

There are currently 300 farmers from 9 counties in the association of sugar beet growers, and in 2021, when a decrease in cultivated areas already began, they had a total crop of 7,000 hectares.

The largest sugar beet grower in the center of Transylvania, Teodor Aflat, said on Thursday that the Luduş Sugar Factory will resume its activity and that, probably, from autumn or spring 2023, growers from Mureş County and neighboring counties they will be able to restart sugar beet cultivation.

“Due to the fact that we signed the confidentiality agreement, we cannot talk too much. Things are on a good track and the Factory in Luduş will be put back in position and we hope that from this autumn or from the spring of 2023 the growers on Luduş, Braşov, I know , Cluj, Sibiu to restart sugar beet cultivation,” Teodor Aflat told the press.

The offer of the group of farmers from nine counties of Transylvania to the French patronage of the Tereos SA group, which until now owned the Luduş factory, was the purchase of over 98% of the shares.

Teodor Aflat stated that this year the price of sugar beet is very good and that he still hopes that this price will be much better, following the continuation of the activity of the factory in Luduş.

“The first step is taken towards the agreement we wanted. As far as I understand, yes, indeed, it is a first,” said Teodor Aflat, who added that many sugar beet farmers had lost their already the hopes regarding the continuation of the activity in the processing plant from Luduş.

The farmer also showed that in the counties of central Transylvania there are hundreds of beet growers who depend on this factory, only in the Union of Beet Growers from Luduş there are over 300 members.

Until the year 2021, the sugar obtained from sugar beet grown in Romania has ensured approximately 25% of the domestic consumption requirement of 500,000 tons of sugar/year.

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