Tate & Lyle

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Tate & Lyle PLC
Type Public limited company
Industry Food processing
FoundedMerger of Henry Tate & Sons (established 1859) and Bernard Lyle & Sons (established 1887) in 1921
Headquarters London, England, UK
Key people
Gerry Murphy, Chairman
Nick Hampton, CEO
Products Starches
Citric acid
High fructose corn syrup
RevenueIncrease2.svg £2.882 billion (2020) [1]
Increase2.svg £296 million (2020) [1]
Increase2.svg £245 million (2020) [1]
Number of employees
4,193 (2020) [1]
Website www.tateandlyle.com

Tate & Lyle PLC is a British-headquartered, global supplier of food and beverage ingredients to industrial markets. It was originally a sugar refining business, but from the 1970s it began to diversify, eventually divesting its sugar business in 2010. It specializes in turning raw materials such as corn and tapioca into ingredients that add taste, texture, and nutrients to food and beverages. [2] It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.



Sugar refining

Tate & Lyle refinery along the Thames in Silvertown, London 2018 LCY, aerial view of Tate & Lyle, Silvertown (cropped).jpg
Tate & Lyle refinery along the Thames in Silvertown, London

The company was formed in 1921 from a merger of two rival sugar refiners: Henry Tate & Sons and Abram Lyle & Sons. [3]

Henry Tate established his business in 1859 in Liverpool, later expanding to Silvertown in East London. [3] He used his industrial fortune to found the Tate Institute in Silvertown in 1887 and the Tate Gallery in Pimlico, Central London in 1897. He endowed the gallery with his own collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. [4]

Abram Lyle, a cooper and shipowner, acquired an interest in a sugar refinery in 1865 in Greenock and then at Plaistow Wharf, West Silvertown, London. [3] The two companies had large factories nearby each other – Henry Tate in Silvertown and Abram Lyle at Plaistow Wharf – so prompting the merger. Prior to the merger, which occurred after they had died, the two men were bitter business rivals, although they had never met in person. [5] In 1949, the company introduced its "Mr Cube" brand, as part of a marketing campaign to help it fight a proposed nationalisation by the Labour government. [3]

Association with slavery

The British slave-trade was abolished in 1807, before Henry Tate and Abram Lyle were born. However, the Tate Gallery states that while neither Henry Tate nor Abram Lyle 'was a slave-owner'; they state that 'we believe the firms founded by the two men, which later combined as Tate & Lyle, do connect to slavery in less direct but fundamental ways'. [6] The Tate Gallery concludes it is 'not possible to separate the Tate galleries from the history of colonial slavery from which in part they derive their existence'. [7]


From 1973, British membership of the European Economic Community threatened Tate & Lyle's core business, with quotas imposed from Brussels favouring domestic sugar beet producers over imported cane refiners such as Tate & Lyle. [8] As a result, under the leadership of Saxon Tate (a direct descendant of Henry Tate), the company began to diversify into related fields of commodity trading, transport and engineering, and in 1976, it acquired competing cane sugar refiner Manbré & Garton. [8]

In 1976, the Company acquired a 33% stake (increased to 63% in 1988) in Amylum, a European starch-based manufacturing business. [3] The Liverpool sugar plant closed in 1981 and the Greenock plant closed in 1997. [9] In 1988, Tate & Lyle acquired a 90% stake in A. E. Staley, a US corn processing business. In 1998 it brought Haarmann & Reimer, a citric acid producer. In 2000 it acquired the remaining minorities of Amylum and A. E. Staley. [3]

In 2004, it established a joint venture with DuPont to manufacture a renewable 1,3-Propanediol that can be used to make Sorona (a substitute for nylon). This was its first major foray into bio-materials. [3] In 2005, DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts was created as a joint venture between DuPont and Tate & Lyle. [10] In 2006, it acquired Hycail, a small Dutch business, giving the company intellectual property and a pilot plant to manufacture Polylactic acid (PLA), another bio-plastic. [11] In October 2007, five European starch and alcohol plants, previously part of the European starch division knowns as Amylum group, were sold to Syral, a subsidiary of French sugar company Tereos. [12] Syral closed its Greenwich Peninsula plant in London in September 2009, and it was subsequently demolished. [13]

In 2006, Lyle’s Golden Syrup tin was awarded a Guinness World Record as the world’s oldest branding. [14]

Tate & Lyle head office in Kingsway, London Television House 532080694.jpg
Tate & Lyle head office in Kingsway, London

In February 2008, it was announced that Tate & Lyle granulated white cane sugar would be accredited as a Fairtrade product, with all the company's other retail products to follow in 2009. [15]

In April 2009, the United States International Trade Commission affirmed a ruling that Chinese manufacturers can make copycat versions of its Splenda product. [16]

Disposal of sugar refining business

In July 2010 the company announced the sale of its sugar refining business, including rights to use the Tate & Lyle brand name and Lyle's Golden Syrup, to American Sugar Refining (owned by sugar barons the Fanjul brothers) for £211 million. [17] The sale included the Plaistow Wharf and Silvertown plants. [17] The new owners pledged that there would be no job losses as a result of the transaction. [18]

Recent history

In 2012, HarperCollins published The Sugar Girls , a work of narrative non-fiction based on the true stories of women who worked at Tate & Lyle's two factories in the East End of London from the 1940s to the 1960s. [19]

Nick Hampton became CEO on 1 April 2018, replacing Javed Ahmed, who stepped down from this role and from the board, and retired from the company. [20]

Tate & Lyle has developed a method to commercially produce the natural sweetener allulose. It emerged in August 2019 that the company was seeking to take advantage of the 2019 permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to not list the product in total sugar or as an added sugar in commercial food ingredients. [21]


A Tate & Lyle tank car carrying corn syrup Corn syrup tank car.jpg
A Tate & Lyle tank car carrying corn syrup

The company is organised as follows: [22]

See also

Related Research Articles

Sucralose Chemical compound

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener and sugar substitute. The majority of ingested sucralose is not broken down by the body, so it is noncaloric. In the European Union, it is also known under the E number E955. It is produced by chlorination of sucrose, selectively replacing three of the hydroxy groups to give a 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxyfructose–4-chloro-4-deoxygalactose disaccharide. Sucralose is about 320 to 1,000 times sweeter than sucrose, three times as sweet as both aspartame and acesulfame potassium, and twice as sweet as sodium saccharin. Evidence of benefit is lacking for long-term weight loss with some data supporting weight gain and heart disease risks.

Splenda brand of sugar substitute

Splenda is a global brand of sugar substitutes and reduced-calorie food products. While they are known for their original formulation containing sucralose, they also manufacture items using natural sweeteners such as stevia and monk fruit. It is owned by the American company Heartland Food Products Group. The high-intensity sweetener ingredient sucralose used in Splenda is manufactured by the British company Tate & Lyle.

Sugar substitute Food additive intended to provide a sweet taste without sugar.

A sugar substitute is a food additive that provides a sweet taste like that of sugar while containing significantly less food energy than sugar-based sweeteners, making it a zero-calorie (non-nutritive) or low-calorie sweetener. Artificial sweeteners may be derived through manufacturing of plant extracts or processed by chemical synthesis. Sugar alcohols such as erythritol, xylitol, and sorbitol are derived from sugars. In 2017, sucralose was the most common sugar substitute used in the manufacture of foods and beverages; it had 30% of the global market, which was projected to be valued at $2.8 billion by 2021.

Silvertown Human settlement in England

Silvertown is a district and forms part of the Port of London in the London Borough of Newham, in east London, England. It lies on the north bank of the Thames and a major £3.5billion redevelopment of the area was approved in 2015. It was named after the factories established by Stephen William Silver in 1852, and is now dominated by the Tate & Lyle sugar refinery and the John Knight ABP animal rendering plant.

Henry Tate

Sir Henry Tate, 1st Baronet was an English sugar merchant and philanthropist, noted for establishing the Tate Gallery in London.

Treacle Uncrystallized syrup made during the refining of sugar

Treacle is any uncrystallised syrup made during the refining of sugar. The most common forms of treacle are golden syrup, a pale variety, and a darker variety known as black treacle. Black treacle, or molasses, has a distinctively strong, slightly bitter flavour, and a richer colour than golden syrup. Golden syrup treacle is a common sweetener and condiment in British cookery, found in such dishes as treacle tart and treacle sponge pudding.

Golden syrup Thick amber-colored form of inverted sugar syrup

Golden syrup or light treacle is a thick amber-coloured form of inverted sugar syrup made by the process of refining sugar cane or sugar beet juice into sugar, or by treatment of a sugar solution with acid. It is used in a variety of baking recipes and desserts. It has an appearance and consistency similar to honey, and is often used as a substitute where honey is unavailable or prohibitively expensive.

Redpath Sugar Canadian sugar refining company

Redpath Sugar Ltd. is a Canadian sugar refining company that was established in 1854 and the first refining cane sugar in Montreal, Quebec. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, the company is a subsidiary of the multinational American Sugar Refining.

Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas LLC is an American subsidiary of Tate & Lyle PLC and produces a range of starch products for the food, paper and other industries; high fructose corn syrup; crystalline fructose; and other agro-industrial products. The company was incorporated in 1906 as A. E. Staley Manufacturing Company by Augustus Eugene Staley.

Abram Lyle

Abram Lyle is noted for founding the sugar refiners Abram Lyle & Sons which merged with the company of his rival Henry Tate to become Tate & Lyle in 1921.

Domino Foods

Domino Foods, Inc. is a privately held sugar marketing and sales company based in Yonkers, New York, United States, that sells products produced by its manufacturing members. DFI distributes sugar to retailers under four brand names across the U.S: Domino,C&H,Florida Crystals, and Redpath. Its namesake product, the Domino Sugar brand name, whose products are generally sold in two-tone packaging with blue labeling text, is the best known. Domino Foods is the largest sugar company in the United States.

Corn Refiners Association

The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is a trade association based in Washington, D.C.. It represents the corn refining industry in the United States. Corn refining encompasses the production of corn starch, corn oil, and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Ingredion American ingredient manufacturer

Ingredion Incorporated is an American multinational ingredient provider based in Westchester, Illinois producing mainly starch, modified starches and starch sugars as glucose syrup and high fructose syrup.

American Sugar Refining

American Sugar Refining, Inc. is a large privately held cane sugar refining company, with a production capacity of 6.5 million tons of sugar. The company produces a full line of consumer, industrial, food service, and specialty sweetener products. In 2013, it adopted the corporate brand name ASR Group. Its ownership structure is based on a partnership which includes the Florida Crystals Corporation company, part of FLO-SUN, a sugar empire of the Fanjul Brothers whose origins trace to Spanish-Cuban sugar plantations of the early 19th century.

Tereos French manufacturer of sugar, starch and bioethanol.

Tereos is a cooperative conglomerate, primarily active in the processed agricultural raw materials, in particular sugar, alcohol and starch markets.

<i>The Sugar Girls</i>

The Sugar Girls: Tales of Hardship, Love and Happiness in Tate & Lyle's East End is a bestselling work of narrative non-fiction based on interviews with women who worked in Tate & Lyle's East End factories in Silvertown from the mid-1940s onwards. Written by Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi, the book was published by Collins in 2012. The authors were inspired to write it by Jennifer Worth's Call the Midwife.

Oliver Lyle (1891–1961) was a British sugar technologist during the early 20th century.

John Joseph Eastick

John Joseph Eastick is noted for being the first chemist at the sugar refinery Abram Lyle and Sons and patenting special methods for making brewers’ saccharum, inverted sugar syrup and golden syrup.

Charles Eastick

Charles Esau Eastick was a British chemist, noted for formulating golden syrup and patenting special methods for making brewers' saccharum and inverted sugar.

Sir Henry Saxon Tate, 5th Baronet, was an English businessman particularly associated with the family sugar business Tate & Lyle, with the Industrial Development Board for Northern Ireland, and the London Futures and Options Exchange.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Annual Report 2020" (PDF). Tate & Lyle. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  2. "About us". Tate & Lyle. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Tate & Lyle Home".
  4. The River Thames from Hampton Court to the Millennium Dome (1999) ISBN   1-86011-701-5
  5. Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi (2012). The Sugar Girls . Collins. ISBN   978-0-00-744847-0.
  6. "The Tate Galleries and Slavery | Tate". 12 February 2021. Archived from the original on 12 February 2021. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  7. "The Tate Galleries and Slavery | Tate". 12 February 2021. Archived from the original on 12 February 2021. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  8. 1 2 "Sir Saxon Tate, Bt". The Daily Telegraph. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  9. "Tate & Lyle plans end of 250-year Scots link with switch to London plant. Bitter blow from sugar firm". The Herald. Glasgow. 21 July 1995. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  10. "DuPont and Tate & Lyle to Open $100 Million Bioproducts Plant". GreenBiz. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  11. Sin, Lee Tin; Rahmat, Abdul Razak; Rahman, W. A. W. A. (2012). Polylactic Acid: PLA Biopolymer Technology and Applications. William Andrew. ISBN   978-1437744590.
  12. "Tereos starch subsidiary Syral finalises the acquisition of 5 Tate & Lyle Plants" (PDF). Syral. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
  13. "Farewell, Tunnel Refineries". 853: News, views and issues around Greenwich, Charlton, Blackheath and Woolwich, south-east London. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  14. "A history of Tate & Lyle told in cake". The Royal Docks. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  15. "Tate & Lyle sugar to be Fairtrade". BBC News. 23 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  16. Alison Frankel. "Sweet Surrender: Bingham Wins ITC Sugar Substitute Case". Litigation Daily. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  17. 1 2 Tate & Lyle sells sugar arm to American Sugar Refining BBC News, 1 July 2010
  18. Finch, Julia; Wray, Richard (1 July 2010). "Tate & Lyle agrees sale of historic sugar business for £211m". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  19. Matt Nicholls (23 February 2011). "Sweet! Tate & Lyle lives celebrated". Newham Recorder .
  20. "Nick Hampton Appointed CEO". Tate & Lyle Press Release. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  21. Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia (22 August 2019). "A natural sweetener with a tenth of sugar's calories. Allulose, developed in Hoffman Estates, could be 'breakthrough ingredient.'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  22. "Our structure". Tate & Lyle. Retrieved 20 March 2019.

Further reading