This week is National Pea Week and we here at MacRoberts are very ha-pea about it. The pea is one of the most versatile and humble greens in the vegetable world and given 90% of pea production happens here in Britain, we felt it important to take this opportunity to pay homage to our Great British pea. 

Yes Peas! is a campaign run by the British Growers Association and funded by a collaboration of growers, freezers and machinery companies. It aims to raise awareness of pea farming in the UK, to recognise the industry-wide efforts made by those in the pea-vining sector and to encourage the public to incorporate healthier home-grown ingredients into their diets. Rachel Green, Yes Peas! Ambassador says: “Great British Pea Week is a great opportunity to celebrate the hard work of farmers and to inspire the nation to take a fresh look at peas.”

Across the UK there are thought to be 35,000 hectares of peas grown every year producing around 160,000 tonnes of frozen peas. In Scotland, more than 200 farmers up and down the east coast will cultivate around 10,000 acres of land every year to grow peas. The pea farming industry in Britain is massive and it is estimated that during the six-week British harvesting season, 2 billion portions of peas will be produced from British farmers working around the clock.

Yes Peas! and FareShare

In celebration of National Pea Week, Yes Peas! has joined forces with the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors, FareShare to raise money and deliver meals to those in need.

FareShare redistributes surplus food to charities across the UK to ensure no good food goes to waste. The charity estimates that since inception, it has delivered 55,046 tonnes of food to charities; provided 131.9 million meals to vulnerable people; and helped 10,542 charities and community groups.

British pea growers and farmers are offering UK residents the chance to ‘adopt’ a pea field for just 100p(ea), will all proceedes going to FareShare.

If you would like to adopt a pea field, follow this link for more information.    

British Growers Association

British Growers Association is a grower owned, grower led, not for profit umbrella group comprising various UK businesses operating in the horticulture industry and fresh produce sector.

The purpose of the Association is “to raise the profile of UK horticulture by encouraging a greater understanding of the industry and its importance to the UK economy”. The Association estimates that the UK is over 40% self-sufficient in indigenous fruit supply but less than 60% self-sufficient in vegetables and salads supply.

British farming

In a post-COVID world, it is so incredibly important to recognise the value of British farming to both the UK economy and to the nation’s overall health and wellbeing. The UK agriculture industry provides around 3.7 million jobs and generates around £18 billion in gross export earnings every year. The industry’s output of fresh fruit and vegetables also contributes to the maintenance of healthy diets and helps our bodies fight disease and poor health (which, in the current climate, is crucial to both beating the pandemic and supporting the financially strained National Health Service).

One more thing...

So, in the spirit of National Pea Week, pea-lease check out these recip(eas) and do your bit to contribute to a ha-pea and healthy nation.

We have also collated some fun ‘petits points’ to chew over at the dinner table this evening:

  • Gregor Johann Mendel, an Austrian monk, worked with peas in laying the foundation of the modern science of genetics.
  • A 100 calorie service of peas contains more protein than a whole egg or tablespoon of peanut butter.
  • On average everyone in Britain eats nearly 9,000 peas per year.
  • The world record for eating peas is held by Janet Harris of Sussex who ate 7175 peas, one by one, in 60 minutes using chopsticks in 1984.