The UK’s annual celebration of the British pea harvesting season is taking place from 10 - 16th July
Launched by the Yes Peas! campaign and the British pea vining industry, Great British Pea Week (10 – 16th July), the National Awareness Week dedicated to peas, has returned for 2017, giving everyone a reason to celebrate peas this harvesting season.
The UK is the largest producer and consumer of frozen peas in Europe, with the average person in Britain eating nearly 9,000 peas per year. This July, approximately 700 pea growers will harvest 2 billion portions of peas to feed Britain for the year.
Great British Pea Week is here to celebrate British production of the nation’s favourite family vegetable and inform the Great British public about the dedication it takes every pea season to get billions of peas from field to fork.
Lasting an average of six to eight weeks, the harvesting process is a complex operation. Farmers work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using viners to harvest, shell and transport the peas from field to frozen as quickly as possible – the majority in just 150 minutes.
Stephen Francis, member of the YesPeas! campaign, said: “Great British Pea Week is back for its second year to inspire the nation to cook with peas during harvest season and reconnect people with the important heritage and provenance of frozen peas and their fascinating journey from the field to our freezers.
“The locked in freshness of frozen peas means we can enjoy British peas all year round, so Great British Pea Week is here to put peas firmly on the food agenda and give everyone a reason to enjoy this versatile and nutritional vegetable at the peak of the British harvesting season, as well as all year-round.”
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 wonderful pea. The east-facing seaboard and maritime climate is the perfect environment for growing superior quality peas.
Versatile and nutritious, frozen peas are a popular freezer essential and the Yes Peas! campaign is asking everyone to get involved this Great British Pea Week and get cooking with peas. TV chef and Yes Peas! ambassador, Rachel Green has created some recipes to inspire everyone this Great British Pea Week, available at www.peas.org.