Summary of the speech by Franek Smith, President, at the launch of Pulses UK

Franek Smith & Lewis Cottey - President & Vice-President

Pulses UK is the new name and image for BEPA, and is an association made up of Growers, Processors, Merchants, Packers and Manufacturers.

We have 51 Members who pay an annual subscription of all members, paid annually, with a voluntary Levy of 10p/tonne paid by members that have opted-in that is used to satisfy the aims of the association. Our President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary are elected on an annual basis but generally serve a 2-year term.

The main aims of Pulses UK are to encourage the production of pulses in the UK, to encourage the consumption of pulses both in the UK and worldwide - with a focus on British, and to further the education of the UK public regarding the production and consumption of pulses.

Examples of our outreach to target audiences include our school days with 14,500 visitors, the Open Farm Weekend with 12,500 visitors, and exhibiting at the Cereals Event with over 18,000 attendees from agriculture and agribusiness.

We are also developing our links and relationships with Parliament and the Government to express and stress the importance of pulses, and we are now members of APPG Food & Health Forum and Members of APPG Agroecology.

Lastly, we connect worldwide and have strong links with Pulse Canada, Pulse Australia, USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, India Pulses and Grains Association and the Global Pulse Confederation.


Summary of Annual Dinner
This was held at Belton Woods Hotel, near Grantham on Thursday 22 November and was attended by over 100 members of the UK pulse trade and their guests. The event featured the awards to winners of the 2018 Pulse Crop Competition and a successful Charity Auction.

Speaking at the Dinner, President Franek Smith repeated earlier comments that 2018 has seen a market that has been described as ‘quite interesting’- potentially the understatement of this very unusual season. Yields and quality varied around the country, presenting both challenges and opportunities for growers and the trade alike. On the plus side, farmers who truly produced excellent quality in 2018 received a good premium. Looking forward to both the New Year and crop 2019, there are both opportunities and challenges for farmers, merchants, processors and end users.

The annual Crop Competition produced a good selection of samples from growers and their merchants.  The competition is judged by a panel of BEPA members, and there were excellent samples from this year’s harvest, despite it being a less-than-perfect growing season for pulses and all arable crops. Awards were given to the winning grower and their merchant in six classes: Marrowfat pea, Large blue pea, Spring bean, Winter bean, Yellow pea, and Any other pea.
(email mail@aheadpr.eu for a list of winners and their contact details)

The Dinner also featured BEPA's traditional Charity Auction, run by Paddy and Justin Barratt, and raised almost £6,000 for the Ferry Project (www.ferryproject.org.uk). This is a charity that provides emergency accommodation and longer term help for homeless and vulnerable people in the Fenland area.