How many of these sugar beets do you think you consume during one year?
During March/April about 2000 farmers in Skåne are planting sugar beet seeds. During the summer you see the green leaves grow larger. The harvest starts in September. For months, until mid-January, harvested sugar beets are delivered to the factory for processing. The sugar factory Örtofta is located outside Eslöv and is running 24 hours a day during this intense period. Every day about 600 truck loads of beets are delivered and processed into sugar products for humans as well as animal feed. Half of the sugar is sold directly to consumers through the grocery stores, half is sold to the food industry.
The annual sugar consumption in Sweden has remained fairly constant at around 40 kilos per person 1960. However, the direct consumption of sugar has declined. The sugar we no longer consume directly is consumed through the processed foods we buy.
One sugar beet results in about 100 grams of sugar. That means about 400 sugar beets per person per year in Sweden!