British Pea Growers Fighting to Keep Peas on Your Plate

There are going to be far fewer British peas to go around in 2012/13.

The drought conditions earlier this year followed by the record rainfall in April and June have severely dented the prospects of this year's British crop.

British shoppers enjoy 150 million kilos of frozen peas every year worth over £200m at retail prices. Over 90% of these are grown in the UK.

James Hallett, Chief Executive of the British Growers' Association comments, "Because the pea harvest is so short, Britain's experienced growers are able to predict the final crop size with a high degree of accuracy. Many British growers are forecasting at least a 40% drop in their harvest after a really tough summer, a potential reduction in retail sales of up to £80m. We are already seeing low grade, poor quality Spanish peas coming into the UK as a result."

British growers from East Anglia to Scotland have been battling against the weather since January and the unseasonably high rainfall, dull skies and cool temperatures in late spring and early summer have done a lot of damage.

As we near the mid-point of the short 10 week pea harvest it is clear that the decrease in crop yield may affect prices shoppers pay for their frozen peas.

Growers are working closely with their retail customers and processors to ensure that great British peas stay on shoppers' dinner plates. UK growers have invested significantly to maximise crop yields in these very difficult conditions and now need to secure fair return for their crop after such a tough season.

The British produced crop is renowned for producing high quality, tasty, healthy, responsibly farmed peas.  At this late stage crop shortfalls will not be made up in the remainder of the British season or with imported peas, since growers across Europe have experienced similar difficult conditions.

For more information please contact james.hallett@britishgrowers.org 07775 644475