Britain’s annual pea harvest takes place each year from June to August, marking the busiest part of the season for the UK pea industry. Great British Pea Week (6 – 12 July 2020), now in its fifth year, celebrates the UK pea season and champions the industry that works around the clock each summer to deliver frozen peas to the nation.
The east coast of Britain boasts a maritime climate which, combined with the soil and planting conditions, is the perfect environment for growing superior quality peas. The East of Britain is home to some 700 pea growers and farmers, stretching from Suffolk right up to Dundee.
British farmers are proudly recognised for their expertise when it comes to producing high quality peas, with the peas on our plate being the culmination of over four months’ hard work. Britain is 90% self-sufficient in pea production, meaning nearly all peas in supermarket freezers going into your trolley or online order are most likely to have been grown by British farmers, resulting in the superior quality and flavour which we know and love.
The harvesting process, which lasts an average eight weeks, is a huge operation which takes place between June through to August, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Harvesting machines, known as pea viners, work in unison to harvest, shell and transport the peas from field to the freezers as quickly as possible, with the majority in just 150 minutes. This helps to ensure the freshness and nutrients of each pea is locked in.
Russell Corfield, one of the UK’s pea growers, explains: “At this time of year the pea harvester goes for 24 hours a day. There are approximately 700 British pea farmers working around-the-clock looking after 35,000 hectares of pea crops – the equivalent to about 70,000 football pitches. It’s like running a military operation - one day you can be on top of your game and then the weather turns and you’re fighting the battle.
“Now more than ever there has never been a more pressing time to ensure we have a successful harvest and we will be continuing to work hard to fill our supermarket freezers with Great British peas.”
Great British Pea Week was launched by the Yes Peas! campaign to recognise the industry-wide effort made by experts across the pea vining sector, which produces 2 billion portions of peas for the UK market and beyond each year.
Get involved with Great British Pea Week in 2020:
- Celebrate pea harvest on your social media by using the #GBPW hashtag this Great British Pea Week.
- Learn more about the pea harvest process on the Yes Peas! YouTube page.
- Versatile and nutritious, frozen peas are a popular freezer essential. That's why Yes Peas! are asking everyone to get involved by cooking with peas.
Cook with British peas
Get inspired with these mouth-watering recipes.
You may also be interested in...