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 eventsFuture BEPA & PGRO Events
and selected UK/EU events


November 2017


"Perhaps the most significant news during the last month was not from the UK but the apparently snap decision of India to impose a 50% tariff on all imports of peas," comments Roger Vickers, Chief Executive of PGRO. "India are the largest importer of pulses on the world market and this move is likely to put pressure on exporters - particularly of yellow peas - to focus on other markets which is likely to push values lower in the short term.

"Australian bean crops are heading towards harvest. Crop areas are significantly down on the records of 2016, so the bumper supplies that came to the human consumption market over the last 12 months can be expected to decrease. As we publish the southern states of Australia stand in anticipation of potentially huge rainfall event that could significantly harm harvest in the productive south eastern region.

"Quality issues have continued to dominate the UK trade. The lack of quality is handicapping export opportunities and increasing availability for feed dissuading buyers from longer-term commitments. Anecdotal reports indicate that the area of winter beans has increased, with growers taking advantage of the more open autumn conditions, perhaps hoping for a slightly earlier harvest and reflecting on generally good yields of winter beans 2017."

Franek Smith, President of BEPA, reports that the market for Feed Beans in the UK is relatively slow. Feed buyers have a number of competing mid protein sources and are in no particular rush to make longer term forward commitments having largely secured their pre-Christmas requirements. Buyers are reluctant to come to the market at present perceiving a good supply and potential downward price pressure. Values are currently around £145/t ex farm depending upon location.

For Human Consumption Beans, it appears that the Egyptian export market is currently full and is unlikely to restart until stores are cleared. Significant carryovers from Australian old crop and competitively priced Baltic sources have made up for the reduced availability from the UK.

There are currently few if any buyers, making trying to put a price on human consumption field beans a theoretical exercise. Traders are generally pessimistic about finding additional volumes of good quality in the UK to make up bulk boat exports, and no new boats are scheduled.

The Sudanese market for containerised product is still active and enthusiastic but the window is closing rapidly as all cargos must be cleared on arrival by mid-February. Considerable logistical issues have been encountered at the port of destination making shippers reluctant to continue for much longer.

Whilst the news in this market is not fantastic, the UK's ability to supply in 2018 has been significantly reduced for reasons of quality and most producers who made the standard have fared very well indeed.

The quality of Combining Peas again remains the watchword. Producers who have retained quality will be enjoying an increase in values as the market strengthens. In turn, the reduced availability of quality product in the market is having a positive impact on contract prices going forwards.

The market for Marrowfat Peas continues to be dogged by issues with excess bleaching and contamination. Those with <10% bleaching may attract offers up to £250/t ex farm, whilst bleaching of 10-20% will take £20-30 discount. Samples poorer than this are likely to head for the feed market - if takers can be found - and may drop to £140/t or less in the current market. Contracts for 2018 crop exist with offers up to £275/t available.

Availability of good Large Blue Peas is falling with prices rising up towards £230 /t ex for top quality. Lower quality bleached samples are more likely to be in the region of £155/t and, if destined for feed, some £10-15/t below that. Contracts for 2018 crop can be obtained with min max values £200 – 230 /t ex farm.

The domestic market for Yellow Peas is still very small but with signs of growth. To a certain extent it is therefore slightly insulated from the short-term international market fluctuations. Current values for good samples are around £175/t ex. Most yellow pea growers enjoyed good yields in 2018 and benefitted from an early harvest. Yields of over 6t/ha were reported. Contracts for 2018 crop exist with min/max values £170- 200 /t ex farm.


(L-R) Franek Smith, Lewis Cottey, Robert Brown, Andy Bury at the Dinner

The BEPA Annual Dinner was held at Belton Woods Hotel on 16 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 2017 Pulse Crop Competition and a successful Charity Auction.

The Crop Competition, judged by six BEPA members and managed by Robert Brown, yielded a batch of excellent samples from this year’s harvest, despite it being a less-than-perfect growing season for all arable crops.

Awards were given to the winning grower and their merchant in six classes: Any Variety Marrowfat, Any Variety Large Blue, Spring Beans, Winter Beans, Yellow Pea, and Any Other Pea.


The Charity Auction was run by Paddy and Justin Barratt with their usual flair

The Dinner also featured the traditional Charity Auction, run by Paddy and Justin Barratt with their usual flair, and raised almost £8,000 for the Hollytree Foundation - a charity that supports the parent/carers of children in mental health units through small grants to aid the logistical & financial pressures on maintaining family contact.

Speaking at the Dinner, President Franek Smith noted that 2017 has been an interesting year for pulses with a variable harvest across the board - whether for peas or beans – leading to a changeable marketplace.

Yields and quality have varied around the country, with yields better and quality poorer than 2016, presenting both challenges and opportunities for growers and the trade alike.

The six BEPA judges who evaluated the Crop Competition samplesOn the plus side, farmers who truly produced excellent quality in 2017 received a good premium.

Looking forward to both the New Year and crop 2018, there are both opportunities and challenges for farmers, merchants, processors and end users.


Top: (L-R) Franek Smith, Lewis Cottey, Robert Brown, Andy Bury at the Dinner
Middle: The Charity Auction was run by Paddy and Justin Barratt with their usual flair
Bottom: The six BEPA judges who evaluated the Crop Competition samples