The story from
field to frozen
Land is chosen from the 40 growers before Christmas then a planting programme is designed which will take into account heat units, altitude, varieties.
Farmers plant the peas in sequence from early March until the end of May. If the weather is right between then and harvest the peas should be harvested in the same sequence.
Matthew, Swaythorpes manager, starts to test the peas for maturity using a ‘tenderometer’ machine towards the end of June. When the peas are mature but still at their tenderest and sweetest the pea viners will be sent in to harvest them.
Peas are podded in the field and tipped into 10 tonne trucks which take them to the Hartleys factory. Here the peas are tipped then put through a floatation washer followed by an air cleaning process, pod removing process and finally a second wash and de-stoner.
The peas are blanched, colour sorted, frozen and then laser sorted again for good measure. We have a third brand new optical sorter in line if we need it to ensure we meet our clients specifications.
Once the product is packed it is sent directly into the coldstore where it will be kept at -22 degrees until it is called off by the customer.
Pea grades range from AA which are the tenderest and work well for retail clients, to DD which are firmer and starchier and do well in soups.
At Hartley’s we have clients for each grade and we feel the important thing is to pack the peas without interfering with them which gives our customers the utmost confidence that we haven’t added any contaminants.