British Edible Pulses Association (BEPA)

BEPA is the trade association representing the processors and users of British-produced pulse (mainly combining peas and field beans) crops. BEPA’s key objectives are to liaise with UK government and other national and international associations, & encourage the consumption of home-produced pulses by promoting their value as healthy, high-protein and high-fibre foods, and to liaise with crop scientists and plant breeders.

Franek Smith, President with Lewis Cottey, Vice PresidentOur website brings you the history of BEPA, contact information for all our members, BEPA in the press and media, the latest pulse market prices, and an introduction to the many end uses for UK-produced pulses.

We also give details of the main BEPA contacts - if you would like to know more about BEPA, and the important role pulses play in the UK's agricultural and food sectors, please ask us!

Franek Smith, President with Lewis Cottey, Vice-President.

British Edible Pulses Association (BEPA)
Future BEPA & PGRO Events and selected UK/EU events Future BEPA & PGRO Events
and selected UK/EU events




"The market slowed dramatically towards the turn of the year and was quite slow to pick up in January," comments Roger Vickers, Chief Executive of PGRO. "That said, feed market consumption is now steadily winding into stocks and there continues to be significant interest in feed bean exports.

"The influence of the poor quality 2017 harvest will remain a constant until the new crop arrives. This underlines the message that quality needs to be a driver for all growers in the coming year to achieve the best prices.

"AHDB's November 'early bird' forecast for UK crops indicates that pulses are expected to reduce in area by 6%, representing an area drop from 232,000 ha to 219,000 ha. DEFRA shows that the lowest UK pulse area since 1984 was in 120,000 in 2012, the highest was 275,000ha in 2001.

"Anecdotally, winter bean sowings are up, but enthusiasm for peas may be wavering after two years of weather-driven quality problems. However, we are still six weeks from the main sowing season for peas.

"The Canadian Outlook for principal field crops reports pea supply is estimated to fall by 12% with lower production. But as exports have fallen, stocks are expected to rise and continue to pressure prices. The average price is expected to fall from 2016-17, mostly due to sharply lower prices for yellow peas following the imposition of a 50% duty on Indian dry pea imports.

"USDA estimate dry pea production at 0.6 Mt, down nearly 50% from 2016-17 due to lower seeded area, high abandonment and below average yields.

"Australian bean bean crop quality appears good but with quantities much reduced from the records of 2016."

Franek Smith, President of BEPA, reports that the market for Feed Beans is driven by demand into the East Anglian ports with merchants looking to cover in existing commitments, the feed market has picked up since the turn of the year, with prices firming slightly by £1 - £2.

Dwindling Baltic availability has also had positive influence and, aided by the lower value of the GBP, these feed exports have helped make good around 50% of the decrease in human consumption exports.

Domestically, there is an increase in compounder demand with beans cheapening against other mid-range proteins, relative values being the most favourable they have been in the last six months. This demand traditionally declines as spring grazing comes on tap in the months ahead.

Feed beans continue relatively stable trading at around £145/t ex and some traders are now starting to book new crop against November wheat futures.

Human Consumption Bean exports are reportedly up to 50% down year on year with opportunities primarily restricted by the available quality.

Human consumption exports to Sudan have now ceased with the import restriction coming into place until June. This an annual measure taken to protect the value of their domestic production.

Some containerised exports to Egypt continue, but demand is thin with the Egyptian buyers now favouring Australian supplies.

A rally in prices before new crop is not expected. UK trade 2017 crop values peaked at around £185/t ex.

Combining Peas are an unexcited market generally caused by the lack of available good quality produce despite strong demand. The value differential between top quality and feed is wide at up to £100/t ex.

Few good quality samples remain of Marrowfat peas, hence good quality samples out of crop 2018 will be in demand. The key theme here through the growing season will be attention to detail to ensure the quality is secured. Top quality samples would trade in excess of £250/t ex whilst bleached samples are very hard to place, a 10-20% bleach taking around a £30 discount. Samples poorer than this are likely to head for the feed market and will trade at a discount to feed beans. The trade is anticipating a reduced planting in 2018. Whilst contract prices are improving, the current differential between marrowfat and good quality large blue prices has narrowed. And with large blue yields generally being greater, farmers looking to stay with peas may be seeing it more beneficial to grow blues.

Contracts for 2018 crop exist with offers up to £275/t ex available.

Demand for Large blue pea produce with good colour and soaking characteristics remains strong, with values over £235 /t ex for export. It is expected this will continue for the foreseeable future.

Pale /bleached samples are difficult to place, and those that have found homes are reaching values of up to £175 ex. Buybacks for large blues for new crop remain available on a min/max £200/£230 ex farm basis, with a maximum 10% bleached. The smaller domestic market for Yellow peas continues to show signs of growth but the earlier-mentioned import tariffs imposed by India may see international pressure on the price as large exporters seek potentially easier markets.

Current values for UK production of around £175/t + ex are largely notional as there is no perceived availability and all requirements are covered.

Contracts for 2018 crop exist with min max values £170- 200 / t ex.



Full details are announced of the first British Dal Festival - a week of events across the city of Bristol between 19th and 25th March.

The Festival will celebrate the magic of traditional dals of the Indian subcontinent alongside other pulse dishes from around the world, from the refried beans of Mexico and fava dips of Greece to Britain's pease pudding and mushy peas.

The Festival will promote the cultural richness, flavour, and affordability of dal as well as its contribution to health, nutrition and environmental sustainability. Dal is any split pulse (lentil, bean or pea) or pulse stew or soup. In particular the Festival will highlight pulses grown in the UK such as fava beans and split yellow and green peas, all perfect ingredients for dal.

The British Dal Festival will offer many opportunities to share, enjoy, grow and learn about dal:

  • Running throughout the week take a Dal Trail around 20+ of Bristol's restaurants and eateries including Thali Café, Gopal's Curry Shack, River Cottage Canteen and Harts Bakery.
  • Share stories and eat dal dishes from Bristol's many language communities at a lunch for women and children with community organisations 91 Ways and Refugee Women of Bristol on Tuesday 20th March.
  • Enjoy a free dal lunch and buy ingredients for dal at Bristol Farmers Market around St Nick's on Wednesday 21st March cooked up by The Thali Cafe and 91 Ways.
  • Come and grow dal by planting lentils, peas and bean in Bristol's Millennium Square with Incredible Edible.
  • See demos from top chefs and dal experts at our Grand Dal Finale - including Romy Gill, Jenny Chandler and Krishna Dutta. Enjoy street food, market stalls, and children's activities on Sunday 25 March.
  • Use our free to download Dal Lesson Plan to run a dal cooking workshop and cross-curricular lesson at your school.
  • Become a Dal Champion by entering your favourite dal dish in our dal championship! Details of all these activities are available on where tickets can be booked for the Grand Dal Finale.

"Dal is not just an ingredient common to many international countries, but in many parts of the world it is a staple food which nourishes millions of people every day in daily meals, while also having a place at feast times. It is held with great respect as it is seen as the food that is accessible to all - rich or poor." Kalpna Woolf, 91 Ways The Festival is an initiative of the British Edible Pulses Association (BEPA) whose President Franek Smith says: "It's amazing to see the public's excitement about the British Dal Festival and their enthusiasm to listen, learn and eat dal and pulses together. We're grateful to all our members without whose support this event would be impossible."

John Hirst of Destination Bristol says: "Our residents and visitors to Bristol are constantly looking for new events and attractions and I am sure this will be another big success for food lovers. Bristol has a strong and improving growing reputation for food and drink and this event will enhance our position."

Follow British Dal Festival:


Bristol and South West: Caroline Peel - 07771 957225 -
National: Polly Robinson - 07966 475915 -