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Birds Eye counters pea harvest problems

By Rod Addy , 09-Jul-2007

Birds Eye Frozen Foods is confident it can cope with the severe impact of torrential rain on pea harvests, although it admits it will be a challenge.

Reports have suggested that as much as 50p could be added to a bag of peas because flooding in pea fields in Humberside and East Anglia had destroyed almost 25% of this year’s pea crop.

Craig Hamilton, general manager of Birds Eye Frozen Foods vegetable processing factory in Lowestoft, Suffolk, said any decision to increase prices would be a matter for negotiation between the manufacturer and retailers. “Whatever happens on price will happen to everyone,” he added. “It’s a matter of supply versus demand.”

The current pea harvesting season is now at the half-way point. Hamilton said the effects of the current bad weather would be felt until June next year.

He said shortfalls of peas to process would not affect full-time employees at the Lowestoft pea factory, who could be shifted to other sites.

The two main options available to the company were to take advantage of the lack of peas by maintaining sales levels and price through sourcing from overseas or to agree to price increases, said the company.

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