Yes, I’m listening to the Go-Go’s (I’m an 80s baby after all) while writing this up.
A farmer cooperative called the Ontario Innovative Sugarbeet Processors Cooperative (OISPC) has been formed led by the positive results of a techno-economic modeling study commissioned by the Ontario Sugarbeet Growers’ Association (OSGA) in collaboration with its partners, the Bio-Industrial Process Research Centre at Lambton College and Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park. The study identified suitable high value-added products and determined business scenarios where a beet-based sugar value chain could be re-established economically within Southern Ontario.
In this scenarios, after a 50-year absence from the Ontario Agricultural sector, sugar beets would be grown, harvested and processed in Ontario with the products and co-products used for the food, feed and industrial biochemical markets. Members of the OSGA cultivate sugar beets, which are then exported for sugar production at the Michigan Sugar Company, but the current market to Michigan is capped. OSGA’s long-term objective is to increase sugar beet acreage by providing greater opportunity for profit through re-establishing a beet-based sugar value chain within Southern Ontario.
OISPC has initiated a project through Bio-Industrial Innovation Canada to conduct a detailed study to assess the opportunity for commercial production of sugar beet sugar for biochemical use. The project will conduct demonstration trials validating of the techno-economic modeling work, and to develop a full business model for the beet-based sugar value chain for OISPC.
Growers in Lambton and Kent counties reportedly have delivered consistent yields and sugar content, said to be among the highest in the North American industry.