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Sugar snaps grown in Denmark and Portugal for the European market

"Our own productions are close to the customers, which lowers the carbon footprint"

Growing sugar snaps in Europe could eliminate the need to have to fly these vegetables in from far away destinations. However, there's some challenges associated with cultivating sugar snaps on European soil, says Frederik Pahus Bruun, PR manager for Danish/Portuguese sugar snap grower and exporter GreenPeas: "The issue is that the weather in Europe is not as stable as it is in Africa or South America. Therefore, a normal routine in European production is to always be able to cope with the weather conditions. If you can cope with the weather, you are likely to be more in control with your production and thereby you reach stability in your yield when harvesting. With the latest extreme weather conditions, we see the weather 'management' as a key indicator."

GreenPeas grows these sugar snaps in Denmark as well as Portugal, Bruun explains. And these areas have difficulties unique to them. "In the locations where we produce, it can be good weather during the day and low temperatures in the night. It might even endure frost sometimes, also in the late spring. We've seen hailstorms that damaged all crops, rain in amounts that made everything drown, complete dryness, you name it. Later in the season, it can become too hot out of nowhere, then we will see issues with different insects and diseases. After which, we do it all again in Denmark with same obstacles."

According to Bruun, the popularity of sugar snaps is increasing, as well as the need to buy produce with the environment in mind: "The demand for sugar snaps is rising. We can feel the branch is in a transition somehow, to go into a more environmentally friendly path on anything from plant to table. Also, food safety has become a big focus, and we can easily tell that our conditions within the EU are a strong point among customers on European soil. Our producing partners overseas has also felt this demand for high food safety, and together we try to always keep the standard as high as possible."

This demand can also be felt on GreenPeas' local productions, Bruun says. "These are among other products, a legumes production, which has a broad appeal to low carbon footprint in general. Exactly as the South American and African sugar snaps, but our own productions are close to the customers, which lowers the carbon footprint even more due to smaller transportation requirements. This in itself creates a demand, as it becomes the environmentally best solution for European customers. We also ensure the work standards by being Global GAP and Global GRASP certified and we were the first company in Denmark to gain this certification."

The fact that the sugar snaps of GreenPeas are grown on European soil give them an advantage over the competition, Bruun feels: "The emissions and from plant to table are two big players in giving us an advantage for European customers. It gives the product a whole new dimension, when it can be sourced on your own continent. With nearly all end-users trying to emphasize more focus on green and reliable food sources and companies going into the ESG era, we've been interested in bringing this product more onto the table as one of the good alternatives to traditional protein sources. It has little to no footprint, as the harvesting is done manually, we do not use any nitrogen, only efficient logistics, and we try to emphasize different varieties of packaging little by little."

The European retailers will also have to play ball, giving priority to produce that is grown in Europe, instead of overseas. "We produce both in Denmark and Portugal for the European market. Step by step we also develop our sales to go more EU focused, but this requires wholesalers and retailers around Europe to also see the benefits of this product. We know that we might not offer the cheapest solution on the market in terms of sugar snaps, but we produce them under environmental precautions, with focus on food safety, and we weigh a high interest in the future environment that we leave for our next generations. We produce when it is possible in Europe, but when not possible we only do ship freight from trusted partners that possess the same values as we have. This means we don't use airfreight to obtain these sugar snaps," Bruun concludes.

For more information:
Frederik Pahus Bruun
Tel: +45 2053 2522