Initiative celebrating UK's 700 pea growers returns for 2024

Next month's Great British Pea Week aims to put a spotlight on the UK pea vining sector
Next month's Great British Pea Week aims to put a spotlight on the UK pea vining sector

A week-long celebration of one of Britain's favourite vegetables and the 700 growers who produce it will commence again for 2024.

The UK’s annual celebration of the British pea harvesting season will return for its ninth year between 1 – 7 July.

The week, which is spearheaded by British Growers Association (BGA), will celebrate British production and educate the public on how every season gets billions of peas from field-to-fork.

The largest producer and consumer of frozen peas in Europe is the UK, with the average person in Britain eating nearly 9,000 peas per year.

Approximately 700 pea growers, who work within 16 different grower groups, will harvest 2 billion portions of peas to feed Britain for the year.

Figures show that the UK is 90% self-sufficient in pea production, according to BGA's yearly campaign, 'Yes Peas'.

Lasting an average of six to eight weeks, the harvesting process is a complex operation.

Farmers work using viners to harvest, shell and transport the peas from field to frozen as quickly as possible – the majority in just 150 minutes.

The hi-tech machinery and exact precision needed during harvesting requires growers to collaborate to produce the crop.

There are currently 18 farmer groups along the east coast of the UK, from Essex to North of Dundee who produce the pea crop.

The east-facing seaboard and maritime climate is the perfect environment for growing quality peas.

Holly Jones, crop association executive at the BGA said: “Nearly all peas in supermarket freezers are grown on a British farm by a British farmer.

"Great British Pea Week serves as the perfect occasion to celebrate those who bring our favourite veggie from field to frozen.

"We want to encourage the nation to not make peas a side dish, but the main event in any meal.”