As a enthusiastic preserver of fruits and other lovely things, a baker of meringues and other sweet things, I know that Cane Sugar is the only one that really works. I was dismayed when earlier this week I bought a couple of bags of Tate & Lyle Granulated Sugar.
The old design in the nearly empty bag says it all CANE SUGAR, and someone cutting the canes. Well maybe most sugar cane is cut with a combine harvester these days, and for this I am pleased, as I know from observation that this is a horrible job. It also had an English Address, and said Produced in the UK. What they meant by produced I do not know, well maybe bagged only, since the sugar is imported mainly from countries such as Mauritius, and maybe other members of the old British Commonwealth.
Recently the market has been sourcing its granulated sugar from sugar beet, well this may be OK for sweetening tea and coffee, but I much prefer the Cane type of Sugar. Even Waitrose stopped stocking Tate & Lyle Granulated sugar in favour of the beet variety. I contacted them and had no satisfactory reply, with the lady on the help desk said that other customers were happy with this. I would much rather import sugar from countries, where they not only grow, but process the sugar, and come up with a lovely range from the deepest darkest moscavado sugars, large crystalled demerara to white refined icing sugar and caster sugar, than send aid!
The New Bag does not mention Sugar Cane at all, and says "Packed in the EU". I was really pleased to be assured by Tate & Lyle that the sugar is still cane sugar. This is the answer I received:
Tate & Lyle sugar is cane sugar. We recently undertook research with some of our consumers which revealed the need for a simple and engaging design to help consumers understand Tate & Lyle’s different sugar types and their functions. As a result, we reviewed the full range of our products and decided to change some of the product packaging, which included removing the word ‘cane’ to make room for other information on the pack. For example, we now call our caster sugar “caster baking sugar” so that we know it is appropriate to use for baking. We are grateful for your feedback regarding the confusion that removing the word ‘cane’ from the pack has caused, and re-instating it on the pack is something the marketing team are now looking in to.
Secondly, we label our products ‘Packed in the EU’ as we have three cane sugar refineries in Europe – the Thames refinery in East London, Sidul refinery in Lisbon, Portugal and a refinery in Brindisi in Italy. The majority of our products available to buy in the UK are packed at our Thames refinery. Very occasionally it might be necessary to move the packing of a product to a different refinery, and the ‘Packed in the EU’ label allows us this flexibility.
I hope that very nealy all the produce Tate and Lyle market in the UK is produced at the Thames Refinery.