History of Suiker Unie

In October 1899, 173 arable farmers in ‘Zeeuwsch Vlaanderen’ founded the Eerste Nederlandsche Coöperatie Beetwortelsuikerfabriek (the First Dutch Cooperative Sugar Beet Factory) in Sas van Gent. In 1900, the first campaign started and the cooperative paid its members a better price for the sugar beet. Soon, others began to see the benefits and followed suit: in 1916, there were seven cooperative sugar factories processing the sugar beet of their members.

The first merger between the three cooperative sugar factories took place in 1947, resulting in the Vereniging Coöperatieve Suikerfabrieken (VCS). In 1966, it merged with the other, still independent cooperative sugar producers. In 1970, the final structure of Suiker Unie became effective. The original cooperatives disappeared and their members became a direct member of Suiker Unie. 

The European sugar industry is characterized by a common market organisation with fixed production quotas. Since on the one hand the European Union is phasing out the common market organisation and on the other hand, the efficiency of the production of sugar continues to increase, several factories have been forced to close. In 2007, Suiker Unie reinforced its position on the European market by the acquisition of the sugar division of CSM. In 2009, the German sugar factory Anklam was acquired.