East Anglia: So far, so good for this year’s pea harvest, says Anglian Pea Growers

Signs are positive so far for this year's pea harvest Signs are positive so far for this year's pea harvest

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
3:34 PM

East Anglian pea growers were more than a third of the way through harvest this week, and hoping for a good crop.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Chair of Anglian Pea Growers Richard Hirst said it was too early to say for sure at the moment as only about 35% to 40% of members’ crop is in, but so far it was looking “reasonable”.

“It has been a lovely growing spring but the heavy rain that Suffolk in particular had at the end of May has affected some crops,” he said.

“We have got very good quality across the board which is good from the consumer point of view, which is what we want, but until we actually finish, a whole lot of things can go wrong with peas. They are terribly water-sensitive. Certainly at the moment we are pleased with how things are going.”

Anglian Pea Growers is a farmers’ co-operative made up of around 120 farms from Bacton in Norfolk to Nacton near Ipswich, and between them they supply around 10 to 12% of the UK market..

Its peas, harvested using its own joint-owned machinery, are sent to the Norbert Dentressangle plant at Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, to be frozen. The co-op sells to a company called Ardo, which is a Belgian family business with a UK arm. The peas are then sold to supermarkets throughout the UK where they are purchased by consumers as ‘own label’ produce. They are also sold to some food outlets.

Mr Hirst expected that they would finish harvesting the peas around the second week of August.

“We normally have about a 55-day harvest,” he explained. Today is about day 25 of the run.

The co-op was fairly unique in the level of co-operation between members, added Mr Hirst, who grows around 65 hectares of peas on his farm near Great Yarmouth.

How well pea growers will do this year is hard to tell, he said.

“A lot depends on how the crop turns out. Until the end of the season it’s a job to know how good it’s going to be,” he said.

“We have agreed a contracts and it depends on how we perform against that.”

Despite the East Anglian pea growers’ efforts, the UK still imports some peas. About 135,000 tonnes are grown here, but about 160,000 tonnes go into the market.

Farm manager at Home Farm Nacton, near Ipswich, Andrew Williams has already brought in his pea harvest.

“It has been a good growing spring,” he said. “We came out of a horrible winter and very wet winter but a very mild winter. We are on light land and a lot of the peas harvested (through Anglian Pea Growers) have probably been on light land,” he said.

“We had a nice run since then apart from that very wet time during May.”

An intense period where four inches of rain fell in a short period caused some headaches, he said.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Forgotten your password?

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT