21 June 2002

Late deal can save pea crop

A LAST-minute joint bid from Belgium-based vegetable processor Pinguin and US-owned warehousing group Frigoscandia Distrib-ution should safeguard some of the East Anglias "speedy pea" crop.

As farmers weekly went to press, the buy-out of Fisher Foods factory in Kings Lynn was still being thrashed out with lawyers, but was expected to be sealed by the end of the week, safeguarding at least some, if not all, of the 25,000t local pea harvest, which is expected to start within days.

KPMG, receiver for the Albert Fisher food group, said it was "optimistic" that the deal would be signed.

Tony Worth, managing director of Holbeach Marsh Co-operative, which supplied the factory with 20,000t of "speedy peas" -so called because they are frozen minutes after harvest – said: "Our viners are ready to roll at the end of this week." He hoped that about 75% of peas would be frozen. &#42