Downpours could hit frozen pea pricesGrowers warn harvests could be lost
29 June 2007
Frozen peas could go up in price because the UK harvest has been hit by the downpours, growers have warned.
Up to 25 per cent of this summer's harvest could be lost because of the heavy rains, according to the Processed Vegetable Growers Association (PVGA).
Growers fear the resulting shortage of peas will lead to price increases as high as 50p per 1kg bag.
Tim Mudge, commercial manager at the PVGA, said harvest machinery was unable to reach water-logged crops in parts of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.
'If there is a shortage the retail price will go up. We are afraid the only people to benefit from this will be the retailers,' he said.
Mr Mudge said pea growers were on fixed-price contracts and so wouldn't benefit if consumers had to pay more.
The National Farmers' Union said the industry also faced potato blight in some crops and problems with hay-making because of the heavy rain.
Pick-your-own farms have been affected in some areas because fruit has been damaged by the downpours.
NFU vice president Paul Temple, who grows peas on his Yorkshire farm, said harvesting conditions were 'exceptionally difficult'.
'We have had to abandon crops in the fields currently under water in the hope there will be something left to salvage once the flooding subsides,' he said.
'We are all bracing ourselves for more heavy rain and it is heartbreaking to work so hard growing a crop that may just rot in the fields.'
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