Inspiring Entrepreneurs: The Business of Food – From Farm to Fork

Monday 22 May

With The Black Farmer Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, plus Thomasina Miers and guests.


This event takes place in the British Library and will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person, or to watch on our platform (online) either live or within 48 hours on catch up. Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.

The last few years have certainly been eventful for the food industry. From inflationary pressures to the enduring effects of the pandemic, many consumers have altered their food purchasing and dining out habits. However, despite these challenges ethical sourcing remains important: nearly four in five food and drink shoppers intentionally choose products with a sustainability claim (Mintel – Sustainability in Food report 2023).

Join us for an inspirational evening with Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, warmly known as The Black Farmer and Thomasina Miers, co-founder of Wahaca as they share their insights on the emerging trends in the food industry and the changing image of food on the high street.

Has the growth of new eateries in the UK serving recipes from all corners of the globe brought forth an evolution of British taste buds? Are food businesses raising the awareness of sustainability and how we can connect more with nature in our food choices? Hear about and discuss these hot topics, and more with the two well-known innovators as they also consider the part their own business journeys have played in revolutionising the face of the food industry in the UK.

This event is part of the British Library Food Season 2023.

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones MBE is a businessman, author and founder of The Black Farmer brand. Wilfred was born in Jamaica and then, after his parents came to the UK as part of the Windrush generation, raised in Birmingham. He worked as a chef before pursuing a career in television, rising to become a producer/director for the BBC. In 1999, he moved to Launceston to become a farmer: it was here that he was nicknamed ‘The Black Farmer’ which inspired him to launch his own gluten-free food brand, The Black Farmer. He was awarded an MBE for Services to Farming in 2020 and is a Governor of the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester.

Thomasina Miers OBE is the co-founder of Wahaca restaurants, cook, writer and winner of MasterChef. She is a trustee of Chefs in Schools, a charity transforming how kids eat and feel about food. Tommi has a weekly column in the Guardian’s Feast magazine and her latest cookbook, Meat Free Mexican came out in May 2022. She regularly visits Mexico and can be found cooking feasts and supper clubs in kitchens around the UK. In 2019, she was honoured with an OBE for her work in the food industry.

Moderated by Eni Timi-Biu – director of CREATE YOUR TABLE

Eni Timi-Biu is the director of CREATE YOUR TABLE, a venture-builder and entrepreneur community supporting the launch and scale of Black-led food and drink ventures. Committed to empowering founders and facilitating equitable outcomes for all, Eni sits on the boards of the LCCI Black Business Association and KERB Food social enterprise. She is completing a master’s degree in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at LSE.

If you’re attending in person, please arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start time of this event. We are committed to the safety of our event bookers. Find out how we are welcoming you to the Library safely.

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