British Edible Pulses Association (BEPA)uses of pulses

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.

BEPA President, Chris CollingsOur 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!

Chris Collings, President

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BEPA Crop Competition winners 2015The winners of the 2015 BEPA Crop Competition were announced at the organisation’s Annual Dinner at Belton Woods Hotel, near Grantham on November 19 with presentations to the growers and merchants who were present at the event.

Pictured here (L-R) are Peter Smith of merchants Wherry & Sons Ltd with grower James Bullivant, winners of the Rosebowl for ‘Marrowfat Peas’ category with variety Sakura. Also pictured are Mark Wells, winning grower of the ‘Spring Beans’ category with variety Vertigo, and Stuart Cree of merchants Ebbage Seeds Ltd.

The winner of the ‘Large Blue Peas’ category was D&R Tyrrell with the variety Daytona supplied by Dunns (Long Sutton) Ltd.

The 'Winter Beans' winning grower was Roydon Hall Farms with variety Wizard supplied by Dalmark - who also supplied the variety Rose to LG Wakefield & Sons, winners of the ‘Any Other Pea’ category.

The ‘White/Yellow Peas’ winning growers were Bevington Smith & Partners with the variety Gregor, supplied by Dengie Crops.

Franek Smith, Vice-President of BEPA noted that there was a 33% increase in samples submitted for judging this year: “This was driven by the increased area in the pulse crop in 2015. We expect this increase to be maintained in 2016 which will be a very special year for the pulse crop as the UN International Year of Pulses.”


“The market is getting used to the fact that there has been an increase in supply and trade is adjusting accordingly. Optimism remains for crop 2015 and for 2016,” comments Roger Vickers, Chief Executive of PGRO.

"The next few weeks is the ideal time to start sowings of winter beans - drilling is under way for 2016 crop with good seedbeds and, in many cases, pre-emergence weed control applied.

“With some RL trials still to be harvested in North Northumberland, it is possible that there are also commercial crops of beans yet to be harvested. It has been an unusually late harvest for beans in 2015. There are reports that one or two occasional crops have been abandoned.”

Looking at domestic markets, Chris Collings, President of BEPA, comments that feed bean prices have fluctuated in October but have been trading at around £133 - £135 delivered, a premium over November wheat of approximately £20/t.

“Buyers remain interested in the feed market. The main issue for many has been moisture content. With growers offering at over 15% moisture, problems for storage arise, and the need to dry down to 15% is imperative for buyers in any market sector. Higher moistures will trade - but at a discount.”

For Human Consumption beans, hard currency availability remains a problem for bulk shipments to Egypt and appears likely to persist through the season. Values where export opportunities arise carry a premium of circa £20-22/t over feed beans (Circa £155/t delivered).

Prices, market and political issues emphasise the need for growers to focus on maximising yield and quality and retaining the quality in storage.

Marrowfat pea values of £275 delivered (£300/t delivered for the very best quality) command interest in exports from the Far East. This market is driven by a combination of doubts about other supply regions, logistical issues and an awareness and preference for UK quality when it is available.

Optimism surrounds this crop with a feeling that quality is good and that increasing demand and supply are closely matched. Only a small carryover is likely before the arrival of crop 2016 indicating that the position is unlikely to change in the next 12 months.

Large blue peas are currently harder to place. Internationally the crop has yielded well and the traditional feed market has still to return to the crop following years of undersupply and movement away. Good quality large blue peas are trading at around £40 over feed peas which in turn trade at a discount to feed beans (there being fewer processor takers) making their value circa £165 delivered for top quality produce. With improved supply and a return to more traditional market values for these crops, the UK is a better position to compete for export markets and for longer term market development.