Europe gets its own sugar
At the beginning of the 19th century, Napoleon blocked the trade routes across the seas, which made importing cane sugar into Europe difficult. Now, people began to search for a way to grow sugar in a colder climate.
In 1747, the German chemist Marggraf had shown that sugar, which was identical to that from sugar cane, could be extracted from fodder beet. His student, Franz Carl Achard, continued this work and, after finding a beet with a higher sugar content (6-8%) - sugar beet, he founded what is commonly considered to be the world's first sugar beet farm in 1801.
Through plant breeding, a sugar beet was gradually developed with a sugar content as high as that of sugar cane (16-19%) and, when production also received state support, a new era in the history of sugar began. In 1880, sugar beet amounted to 63% of the global sugar production.