Norfolk Young Farmers will parade in pea costumes for Lord Mayor’s Show in London
- Credit: Chris Hill
A team of six Norfolk Young Farmers hope to set pulses racing in their pea costumes as they take farming's message into the City of London on Saturday.
They will feature at the 801st Lord Mayor's Show, one of the oldest civic pageants in the world, as part of a team involving the National Farmers' Union (NFU) and other organisations working with the Worshipful Company of Farmers.
To mark the International Year of Pulses, a 12-strong team young farmers will accompany a PMC pea harvester, supplied by the Green Pea Company, and a Massey Ferguson red tractor, in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators, with millions more watching on television.
Half of the team are from Norfolk, recruited by Frontier agronomist and North Walsham YFC member Emily Page, who also took part in the parade last year.
She said: 'It makes sense that half of us come from Norfolk, as we grow a lot of peas here. We have a got a pea viner with us, but we wanted to put it in context, and I stupidly said as a joke: 'Why don't we dress as peas?'
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'I think it is a great opportunity, and the costume just adds to it. There will be 12 of us holding flags with different farming facts and symbols.
'It was a fantastic experience last year, everyone was shouting: 'Yay, farmers!' as we went round. It was a really positive experience, and hopefully we can put farming in a good light again.'
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Also joining the three-mile procession through the capital will be North Walsham YFC chairman Will de Feyter, Dereham YFC chair and Easton College student Holly Garrod, farm manager Andrew Spinks, Ben Burgess technician Daniel Brown and Swaffham YFC chairman Laurence Gibbs.
The parade will be the culmination of the farming industry's push to celebrate British food which during 2016 has included Back British Farming Day, Red Tractor Week and British Food Fortnight.
NFU president Meurig Raymond said: 'We have a great story to tell so the parade is the perfect platform to celebrate and promote British farming. It is an industry strategically important to our country, one that grows and produces the raw ingredients for the UK's largest manufacturing industry – food and drink – worth £108bn to the UK economy. It also provides jobs for nearly four million people.
'I know Saturday will be the culmination of months of hard work and a huge team effort from all sides and I wish everyone the best of luck.'