Birds Eye is to stop sourcing peas in East Anglia and has cancelled its contract with Anglian Pea growers, reports the NFU (National Union of Farmers).
The NFU described the move as “a huge disappointment for local producers”, affecting some 180 growers cropping an area in excess of 4,500 hectares.
Sarah Pettitt, chairman of the NFU’s board for horticulture, said: “This is terrible news for growers in East Anglia, some of whom will have been supplying peas to the plant for more than 60 years. The British pea is renowned the world over for its taste and quality and growers in this region and in the country as a whole have spent considerable time, effort and resource on ensuring that they provide the consistent quality product that consumers have come to expect at a value for money price.”
Pettitt added: “I urge Birds Eye to re-consider their approach to this decision. In Anglian Pea growers they will find partners willing to discuss constructively the problems that Birds Eye face, with the aim of trying to find alternative solutions than simply turning out the lights on their freezing plant.”