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



Many minds may be focussed more on the logistical difficulties created by the late arrival of winter conditions than on the pulse market,” comments Roger Vickers, Chief Executive of PGRO. “However, there have been movements afoot during the month, and sellers should take note.

“The Australian bean crop has been around 300,000 tonnes, approximately half that of 2016, returning to near normal levels. This may have some impact on prices going forwards. Meanwhile the effect of the Indian import tax (of 30-50% depending upon pulse type) is putting price pressure into the world market and a more negative attitude with Australian growers. France too is impacted by these import tariffs, as it exported over 100,000 tonnes of peas to India last year.

“The UK feed market for beans is picking up as soya and rape meal values rise and significant feed compounders are looking to cover their summer requirements from beans as a good quality alternative.

“The human consumption bean export market stalled some weeks ago with few if any sellers, and buyers focussed on Australian crop and the remnants of the Baltic harvest. This market rarely looks far forwards, and with Ramadan requirements covered, there has been little interest in UK as a source. There are, however, now slow signs of returning interest in what UK sellers can offer for May and June shipments.

“Despite the wintry conditions, some growers have begun preparing land for spring sowing. The trade is still uncertain of the likely pulse area to be sown. Spring bean seed is in demand - but with the perception that less seed crops were realised in 2018, seed availability may be no clear indication of likely sowings.”

Franek Smith, President of BEPA, reports that the increased demand and rising cost of alternatives has seen feed bean values sneak upwards to between £150-155/t ex farm. Regional variations and proximity to the end user are always influential.

Vegetable protein is in demand and prices have risen considerably. Soya having increased £50/t over the last 6 weeks - currently at around £340/t - and rape meal risen to almost £190/t. If this trend carries on, it will continue to stimulate compounder interest in UK feed beans.

Feed bean exports are now slowing, but interest remains, and there continues to be a succession of boats leaving with skinned beans for the fish feed market.

The outlook for crop 2018 could be considered optimistic. With feed November wheat prices apparently holding in the region of £135-140/t, trade offers for forward beans are being made at £155-160/t ex farm. 

Growers driving for good yields may stand to reap a greater reward from the 2018 harvest and an even greater sustainability message.

There is tentative interest from buyers in human consumption beans for May/June, but currently enquiries are for availability rather than actual trade. It is believed that there is little left in the UK of human consumption quality at this stage. But perhaps this is also the case elsewhere - in which case the importers may adopt a more pragmatic approach to quality and focus on colour rather than absolute minimal bruchid damage. No firm prices have been fixed, but perhaps up to £170/t ex farm could be achieved.

Forward prices for crop 2018 are available with a premium of £20 over feed beans. At current levels this could present a value of up to £180/t ex farm for November movement. It is believed there have been few takers to date.

The market for combining peas continues to lack excitement.

There remain a large number of pale samples of marrowfat peas from open market growers and the market is somewhat stagnant.

The trade remains certain that there will be less produced in 2018 despite contracts being offered at £240-250/t. Various penalty clauses and/or bonus propositions give a range potential of perhaps £60/t.

It is forecast that by 2019 crop contract prices will have risen significantly higher as both carryover stocks and production levels fall through 2018.

Of the three quality categories of large blue peas, the best samples - those with good colour, cooking and soaking characteristics - have been unseen since the turn of the year. If available, they could demand up to £240/t ex farm giving a market spread of around £75/t.

The second tier - suitable for micronizing - are also few and far between, from £165/t ex farm upwards depending upon quality and location.

The third tier - for the canning market - is oversupplied and will command little above £165/t ex farm.

Peas for the feed market will trade at a discount to feed beans.

Various buyback options for crop 2018 are available based upon on a min/max between £180-240 ex farm based upon sample submitted and quality deductions. 

The trade in yellow peas is unaware of any in the market and no immediate requirement for movement. The issue with India, already mentioned, has killed the international market for the time being. Growers would be wise to produce under a contract in 2018. Contracts are currently being offered from £165 ex farm. Domestic production for UK use will continue to have demand from 2018. 


For PGRO information, contact Roger Vickers on 01780 782585  


For BEPA information, contact BEPA President Franek Smith on 01406 366262


PGRO and BEPA’s joint PR agency, Ahead Ltd on +44 (0)1904 634040


1.  PGRO is the non-statutory levy body which promotes and carries out research and development in peas and beans. PGRO growing guides and recommended lists of varieties are the national references for growers. The PGRO publishes 'The Pulse Magazine' quarterly, the 'Pulse Agronomy Guide' annually, issues bulletins during the growing season, provides education and training courses, and runs grower / agronomist meetings around the UK.

2.  BEPA is the trade association representing the processors and users of British-produced pulse (dried pea and bean) 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.


A week-long festival of dal, the first ever British Dal Festival, saw hundreds of people celebrate the diversity of dal from the traditional dals of the Indian subcontinent to pulse dishes from around the world, such as refried beans of Mexico and fava dips of Greece and Britain’s pease pudding or mushy peas.

Festival chair, Nick Saltmarsh, a member of festival initiator and funder the British Edible Pulses Association (BEPA) said: “Bristol’s enthusiasm and support for the first ever British Dal Festival went way beyond our already high hopes. Our aim was to celebrate the cultural richness, flavour, versatility and affordability of dal as well as the health, nutrition and environmental benefits of the pulses that make it. We are grateful to everyone who took part in the festival - the restaurants on the Dal Trail, street food traders and food producers at the market and Grand Dal Finale, everyone who came along to celebrate and feast on dal, our hard-working festival team and volunteers, and partner organisations 91 Ways and Incredible Edible.”

Between 19-25 March, Bristol residents and visitors had the chance to savour special dal dishes on the Dal Trail of over 30 of the city’s restaurants, from Gopal Curry Shack’s “Roald Dal” to “Sister's Peeli Dal and Mum's Kaali Dal and Grandmother's Moonghe De Miti Dal dessert” at Pipal Tree Cafe. Kirpal Singh, owner of the Pipal Tree says: “It was wonderful to be part of the Dal Trail and have the opportunity to share our family dal recipes - favourite dishes from three generations of daughter, mother and grandmother - with both our regular and new customers. Dal for is for us one of the most eaten and enjoyed foods.”

Community organisation 91 Ways to Build a Global City joined forces with Refugee Women of Bristol to host a lunch on Tuesday 20 March. Cooks Amina and Negla produced a delicious dal feast for 85 women using British-grown pulses donated by Hodmedod and veg from Total Produce. The women shared memories, swapped recipes and talked about both the delight and benefit of eating dal. Kalpna Woolf, founder of 91 Ways, said: “It was such an uplifting event and once again showed the power food has to unite us. Dal is an ingredient common to many countries and 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 - whatever your circumstance.”

Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Visitors to Wednesday’s weekly Bristol Farmers Market around St Nick’s were invited to enjoy a free dal lunch cooked up by The Thali Cafe and 91 Ways on Wednesday 21 March. Over 200 portions of moong bean and split yellow pea dal were served in a little over an hour.

On the Thursday volunteers led by community growing organisation Incredible Edible Bristol sowed lentils,peas and beans in their Millennium Square plots, demonstrating the range of pulses that can be grown in the UK, from fava beans to carlin peas, on farms and in allotments and gardens. More pulses will be planted at sites across Bristol over the next few weeks and the growing crops tended through to harvest in August and September.

Food writer and cookery teacher, Jenny Chandler created a free to download Dal Lesson Plan to get children cooking dal and learning about the benefits of pulses in schools. Jenny ran workshops in two Bristol primary schools and one at the Bristol Hospital Education Service during the week of the festival. She said: “The classes were tremendously rewarding - working with herbs and spices, learning about the nutritional value, sustainability and versatility of pulses. The magic of dal really does work on so many levels.”

The British Dal Festival culminated in a Grand Dal Finale at Paintworks, Bristol which saw almost 1,000 visitors enjoying and celebrating dal in all its diversity. Cookery demonstrations of dals, typical accompaniments and other pulses dishes were given by chefs and cookery writers including Romy Gill of Romy’s Kitchen; Krishna Dutta, author of The Dal Cookbook; and cook, food writer and cookery teacher Jenny Chandler. There were opportunities for children to cook and spice their own dal, create traditional man-dal-as to represent the universe with pulses, and to make colour rangoli paintings in the courtyard.

The sun shone and visitors feasted on dal in the courtyard from street food traders Spice Box, Thali, Gopal’s Curry Shack and Bombay Brrrrunch. Inside 16 food producers offered an incredible range of dal ingredients, accompaniments and other produce. 91 Ways volunteers and donors had baked a huge selection of delicious cakes and exotic sweets to sell with coffee and tea to raise money for their work with Bristol’s diverse communities. Richard Osborn of Fresh Range, a Bristol based food delivery service said: “It was warm, friendly and positive atmosphere: Everything I’d have expected from a Dal Festival!”

Finally, the British Dal Festival crowned two Champion Dals - Guy Morgan with his "Please sir I want some more! dal" in the home cook category and street food trader Spice Box with a delicious chickpea dal in the professional category.

The competition was judged by an expert panel of Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy, British Edible Pulse Association (BEPA) resident Franek Smith and cookery writer and teacher Jenny Chandler, who said: “It was wonderful to see so much enthusiasm from dal lovers to share their personal recipes and the standard was superb. The winning dals both had that magical combination of comforting, creamy texture with great blend of aromatic spices.”

The Festival was an initiative of the British Edible Pulses Association (BEPA) whose President Franek Smith says: “It was amazing to see such widespread passion for dal and excitement about the British Dal Festival. We are delighted that so many people came together to support the festival by sharing, feasting on and learning about dal. We hope to make the British Dal Festival an annual event.”

Follow British Dal Festival:
Twitter @BritishDalFest
Instagram @BritishDalFestival
Facebook /BritishDalFestival

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

Film-maker Jason Taylor produced and donated a 1-minute film of Sunday's Grand Dal Finale available to view here:
If you use the video please credit The Source:

Available to download from Google Drive:

CREDIT: Rebecca Noakes Photography