B.Sugar boosts tomato output using gas from plant

CAMBRIDGE, England, July 19 Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:16am EDT

CAMBRIDGE, England, July 19 (Reuters) - British Sugar, a unit of Associated British Foods (ABF.L), plans to sharply increase tomato production for UK retailers, using gas from its Wissington beet factory.

Britain's largest glass house that grows tomatoes recycles carbon dioxide from British Sugar's state-of-the-art Wissington factory in eastern England.

"We will be expanding the area under glass from 11 hectares to 18.5 hectares -- the equivalent to 17 football pitches," Colm McKay, agriculture director of British Sugar, said in a keynote speech to a cane growers' conference.

The expansion programme will increase British Sugar's tomato output, which is sold to major retailers, to 140 million tonnes annually from the current 80 million tonnes a year, McKay said.

"It is an example of how we have produced a sustainable product through innovation."

The three-day World Association of Beet and Cane Growers' (WABCG) conference ends on Wednesday.

(Reporting by David Brough; editing by Jane Baird)

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