Throughout harvest season, Birds Eye – a part of Nomad Meals – can produce 48 tonnes of frozen peas per hour.
Attaining this capability inside a ‘simply in time’ operation is not any imply feat, advised UK agriculture supervisor Richard Wilson on our latest journey to Birds Eye’s operations in Yorkshire, Northern England.
However the firm doesn’t simply take pleasure in supplying the UK market with ‘candy and tender’ frozen peas. Along with farmer cooperative The Inexperienced Pea Firm (GPC), it’s also incorporating sustainable agricultural practices into its cultivation, which feed into Nomad Meals’ ambition to scale back emissions by 25% in absolute phrases by 2025, and obtain net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Pea cropping itself could be very optimistic by way of carbon,” defined Wilson. “It captures atmospheric carbon from the ambiance and sequesters it into the soil.” Being a member of the legume household, peas are additionally nitrogen fixing – that means that growers can cut back their use of artificial fertiliser all through the season.
The corporate can be lowering artificial agricultural inputs by investigating using biologic fungicides, based mostly on residing organisms and pure compounds, that provide safety towards pathogens.
Different sustainability initiatives embody Birds Eye’s dedication to the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform, which sees it function in accordance with rules designed to higher the atmosphere and society.
The altering local weather is one thing the enterprise is ‘very aware’ of, mentioned Wilson, who has noticed much less conventional seasonality and extra volatility in climate patterns of late. “This 12 months…has illustrated the purpose that we’re fairly a altering local weather. We’ve got gone from having a really dry winter into February, which was one of many driest on document. What adopted was the wettest March on document for 30-40 years, after which that adopted into the warmest June.”
This may make planning the pea crop ‘fairly troublesome’, we have been instructed: “It’s been fairly a problem.”
However wanting ahead, if antagonistic climate situations proceed, the corporate can pull levers in conventional breeding strategies. Nomad Meals owns a glasshouse manufacturing in Sellaberga, Sweden, the place it identifies fascinating traits in its pea seeds. “Drought tolerance might be a spread trait that we glance to select up extra.
“If local weather change and the extremes of local weather are to grow to be extra of a figment of the longer term, then these are areas we’d be must be wanting into to.”
Watch the video to be taught extra concerning the cultivation, harvest, and processing of Birds Eye peas.