Tate sugar sale not a bitter pill to swallow

Although Javed Ahmed the chief executive will be the one to hand over the keys to the Thames Refinery owned by the Tate in East London to the American Sugar Refining, chances are the company’s executives will all breath a sign of relief. Tate sold off its US Sugar refineries to American Sugar in 2001 and its Australian sugar business in 2000. The Thames Refinery which was originally created by Henry Tate in 1878 is the largest cane sugar refinery located anywhere across the globe given that it can produce over one million tonnes of sugar per year. Every hour it can produce 170 tonnes of sugar. Despite this fact, Tate has been having trouble turning a business profit since the EU introduced a 36pc price cut in what it paid sugar producers over a four year period that started in 2006. The weak sugar business now is a far cry from the fortune that Henry Tate was able to accumulate in the late 19th century. In fact, he made enough profits that he was able to pay for London’s Tate Gallery which he later donated two large Victorian art collections to. Founder of the business that merged with Tate’s back in 1921, Abram Lyle stated a shipping business before he created a Greenock refinery. He followed this refinery with a London refinery in 1883 when he discovered a by-product from the sugar refineries that he called Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Today the company focuses its efforts on sugar substitutes and glazes.