Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones was born in Jamaica in the mid-1950s, and moved to the United Kingdom in the late 1950s. His father was a pastor who came to the UK to work in a factory. Wilfred along with his nine siblings, lived in a cramped house in inner city Birmingham. Living in poverty, he was the eldest boy and had the responsibility to help his father tend to their family allotment.
As a child Wilfred had a love for the outdoors and dreamed one day of owning and working a farm, the family allotment give him sanctuary as he stated, “It was a bit of an oasis away from the misery of my surroundings,” he says. “I can remember making a promise to myself around the age of 11 that one day I’d own my own farm. That dream carried me through my life.”
Leaving school after not doing well, he had a difficult time at a secondary modern school, prompting him to join the British Army. Wilfred received a discharge from the Army after a year of service due to disciplinary problems. His next opportunity took him into working in a catering business, where he eventually enrolled in a training program which led to a job with Peter Bazalgette on the BBC television series Food and Drink. This first venture into television would see him further his career by working as a producer and director for the next 15 years.
The experience he gained from television and working in the food business, eventually gave him the opportunity to set up a marketing agency in London, specializing in food brands. Some of the companies he represented included Lloyd Grossman, Kettle Chips, and Plymouth Gin. This venture made him enough profit that he finally had the opportunity to buy a farm.
He chose West Kitchen Farm in Devon, and began to learn the farming trade. The locals whom he enlisted for aid in farming referred to him as ‘the black farmer’. This name of endearment inspired him to start his own brand of products labeled ‘the black farmer’. These products include award-winning sausage, chicken, ham, and sauces.
The success of his black farmer brand of foods soon became a staple in many supermarkets. He began to promote his products as he took them to market his throughout the UK. Soon Wilfred and his black farmer brand would gain notoriety and he set up a scholarship fund to help other young black men share in his dream. He established the Young Black Farmers scholarship where he would take recipients to work and live on his farm and teach them a way of life. The scholarship eventually caught the eye of TV4, where a series of episodes, featuring nine inner city ethnic youths.
Recently, Wilfred has become involved in politics, as a potential candidate for the Conservative Party for a new seat, Chippenham in Wiltshire, in the next UK general election. Wilfred hopes to use his position to increase the awareness of helping out the rural farmers, encouraging infrastructure development in the rural areas and to help inspire youths to fulfill their dreams, as he did.
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