Brexit could provide opportunities for UK peas

by Peter crowe

Brexit could provide opportunities for UK peas


Challenges and opportunities for the Vining Pea industry have been highlighted in a report launched by British Peas and Beans and British Growers at the UK Vining Pea and Bean Industry Conference held in Peterborough. The ‘UK Vining Report 2017’ provides a comprehensive review of the way that the industry operates in the UK at present, as well as its future prospects.


The UK market could provide a major opportunity, with nearly 35,000 tonnes of peas imported into the country at present. With rising exchange rates and Brexit potentially making imports more difficult, there is a real opportunity for the UK industry to sell more British peas to British consumers.


Coral Russell of British Peas and Beans, said: “These are exciting and challenging times for the Vining Pea Industry. There is a real opportunity to grow the British market in the post-Brexit period and we need to grasp it with both hands. There are challenges as well, but I am confident that we can face these with the right support from UK governments.”


The report makes it clear that there a number of challenges on the horizon. A general reduction in the number of active ingredients for crop protection could affect the industry. Andersons ‘report on the issue, published in 2014, highlighted the British Pea as a ‘high risk’ crop.


Specifically, the restrictions on Wakil XL, which protects against downy mildew, could lead to a reduction in yields. Although the product has received a new licence, this restricts the period when Wakil-treated seed can be planted to post-April 1st, when many crops have already been drilled.


The report also highlights the importance of Producer Organisations (POs) to the Vining Pea Industry. There are currently eight British pea growing POs under the current EU scheme. If a similar scheme is not available in the UK after Brexit, it would put UK producers at a serious disadvantage compared to their European counterparts.