The price of frozen peas is set to climb, growers have warned, with far fewer British peas around as a result of the unusual weather.
The British Growers’ Association says the drought earlier this year – followed by record rainfall in April and June – meant crops could be down by 40%. Growers stood to lose £80m in retail sales, it said.
In a normal year, Brits buy 150 million kilos of frozen peas – worth £200m in retail sales. Around 90% come from British growers.
“As we near the mid-point of the short, 10-week pea harvest, it is clear that the decrease in crop yield may affect price shoppers pay for their frozen peas,” the association said.
“Growers are working closely with their retail customers and processors to ensure that great British peas stay on shoppers’ dinner plates.”
Pea growers had invested heavily to produce their crop under difficult conditions this year, the BGA said, and it was important they received a fair return for their efforts.
The group’s chief executive, James Hallett, called on shoppers to support British growers, saying “we are already seeing low-grade, poor-quality Spanish peas coming into the UK market”.
But the BGA said it was unlikely imports would be able to make up much of the shortfall in the UK , as growers across Europe had experienced similarly difficult conditions.