Read on for the standard descriptions of the types of UK bean products traded by Pulses UK members to provide clarity in the market place. These are not trading specifications which are determined by buyers and sellers in their individual trading contracts.

Spring Faba Beans

Spring beans are primarily exported to the middle eastern and North African regions for traditional dishes such as ‘Ful Medames’.

Requirements for this market are smooth and pale skins, with uniform size and no beetle damage. Skin should be thin enough to soak and cook easily.  Most UK bean varieties have a pale hilum.


LVC stands for ‘Low Vicine and Convicine’ and refers to varieties which are low in these anti-nutritional compounds.

The varieties with LVC are much better for animals, particularly monogastrics such as pigs and poultry.

Winter Faba Beans

Traditionally grown for feed for domestic and some export.

Varietal improvement means better samples can command a premium for the human consumption trade to Egypt where they are used for splitting.


Some micronising takes place for sheep feed, however the only real process used for feed beans is dehulling/splitting.

Hulling/splitting removes the fibrous hull to leave the high protein bean, this is popular in aquaculture markets as an important feed for farmed salmon in particular.

If you would like to know more about the end uses of pulses – for the feed industry, for the food industry, for export markets, and for specialist uses, such as gluten-free diets – please contact one of the Pulses UK member companies listed on our web site. If you would like advice on the most appropriate Pulses UK member to contact, please visit our contacts page.