MPs' staff visit Tate & Lyle Sugars refinery | IPT

On Thursday 31 May, a group of parliamentary staff working for Members of Parliament visited the Tate & Lyle Sugars refinery in East London to learn about the cane sugar refining process, as part of the IPT Fellowship Programme. During the visit, they toured the private jetty where raw sugar arrives from around the world, the raw sugar shed used for storage prior to refining, the control room from where the refining process is overseen, and the packing lines where white and brown sugars are prepared for dispatch to customers. They also had the opportunity to discuss a range of policy issues affecting the business, from skills and community engagement, to international trade and Brexit, and public health. Two of the attendees commented on their visit:


Laura Challinor, Intern to Nic Dakin MP, said: “I found the visit to Tate & Lyle Sugars really interesting. The tour of the factory was fun and fresh and the discussions we had over lunch were so useful. As the Tate & Lyle representatives explained, when they meet with MPs they only have a brief chance to raise their problems and opinions on policy. This trip gave us all the chance to discuss the details of trade deals and touch on other policy issues that the company would not usually prioritise, such as a sugar tax and ban on single use plastics. It’s always important to be aware of a variety of perspectives on policy, and this trip proved to be a great use of time in this respect.”


Alex Evelyn, ‎Researcher and Parliamentary Assistant to Royston Smith MP, said “I was pleased to have been offered the chance to visit the Tate and Lyle refinery in East London. It was a highly enjoyable visit and offered a practical example of how trade policy is affected by the decision of Whitehall and Brussels.”


Joseph Gould, Parliamentary Intern to Mary Robinson MP, said: “I was delighted to learn about the challenges faced by an iconic British brand in the twenty first century, in addition to discovering Tate Lyle’s commitment to corporate social responsibility.”