The UK’s largest processor of frozen green vegetables has warned of a “pea crop disaster” due to the recent floods in parts of the country.
Steve Marx, operations director at Christian Salvesen Foods, said the UK pea harvest is likely to be 30% down as heavy rain and flooding in the Midlands and the north of England have destroyed large swathes of the crop.
“We are facing a crop disaster,” Marx told just-food today (5 July). “We’ve never seen anything like this. Some of the land is under 3ft of water. Everyone is talking about the crop being 30% down on average.”
Christian Salvesen accounts for around a third of the 150,000 tonnes of peas produced in the UK each year and the company’s five major processing factories have been hit by the weather.
The threat to this year’s pea crop in the UK comes after dry conditions 12 months ago reduced the 2006 harvest by some 18%.
Marx said the market for peas was “just about in balance” after last year’s shortfall. The current wet weather, he added, is certain to affect supply to UK retailers.
Marx warned that UK processors would be unable to buy in stocks from Europe, where the weather has also affected the pea crop. “There’s nothing we can do about it; we will do our best to recover what we can from this year’s crop but the quality is not good,” he said.
There is also a possible threat to stocks of other vegetables including broad beans, green beans and broccoli, Marx said.