Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones aka The Black Farmer launches a new initiative to celebrate Windrush Heroes and inspire future generations
The Black Farmer has launched a new campaign that aims to put diversity at the top of the food industry agenda.
Led by the brand’s namesake and founder Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones – a child of the Windrush Generation himself, The Black Farmer ‘Windrush Initiative’ will celebrate the huge contribution made by the many individuals who travelled from Caribbean countries to Britain in the post-war era.
The campaign aims to challenge the underrepresentation of black people/people of colour in senior roles within the food industry and inspire future generations, by bringing greater attention to the success stories of the many Windrush Heroes who have played an integral role in Britain’s success since the mid 20th Century. The Windrush Initiative will be supported by a national advertising campaign, along with a limited-edition range of celebratory sweet chilli sausages.
Wilfred, who was awarded an MBE in 2020 for services to farming comments: “As Britain’s only black farmer, I have witnessed first-hand the woeful lack of ethnic diversity in the food and FMCG industry. I have been dealing with the major retailers for years and without exception, their HQ management teams are almost exclusively white. That needs to change, as it is at odds with their customer base and shop floor staff who are hugely diverse.”
Wilfred continues: “My mission is to use my own success to champion greater diversity and representation within the sector, through initiatives such as our Black History Month campaign and our Windrush Celebration. As a child of the Windrush generation, I feel it is really important to celebrate Windrush Day to not only reflect on the achievements and contributions made by that generation for the greater good of Britain but to help inspire future generations on what can be achieved.”
All the major supermarket retailers have stepped up to support The Black Farmer Windrush Campaign by stocking the special pack of pork and chicken sausages, which features a picture of Wilfred as a five-year-old boy not long after he arrived in the UK from Jamaica.
The new range features a mouth-watering blend of red peppers, Jalapeños, honey and herbs and spices bringing a taste of the Caribbean to one of the nation’s favourite dinner time staples.
The Black Farmer’s Windrush Day Sweet Chilli Sausages are all Gluten-Free and available to purchase now from all major supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons, and Ocado, Asda and the Co-Op.
Tuesday 22nd June 2021 marks Windrush Day, and the 53rd anniversary of the date that MV Empire Windrush first arrived at the Port of Tilbury, near London carrying 492 passengers.
People arriving in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries have since been widely recognised as the ‘Windrush’ generation. Many of these individuals took up essential jobs in the NHS and other sectors badly affected by Britain’s post-war labour shortage, playing an integral role in Britain’s growth and success in the mid 20th century.
Born in Frankfield, Clarendon, Jamaica, Wilfred came to the UK in the early 1960’s. Wilfred recalls his experiences of that time: “My parents decided to come to the UK, like many of that generation, to seek better opportunities for themselves and their families. They left me to be looked after by my Mom’s relatives and they came to England to earn enough money to send for me and my sister. We didn’t arrive on the Windrush but arrived by plane.”
“To this day I still remember the shock of arriving in the middle of winter to a strange country and because of the time we spent apart to come and live with strange people – who I was told were my parents. Back then my only reference point of familiarity was the Jamaican foods that my mother cooked, which were a reminder of home.”
“As the eldest boy, my father gave me the responsibility to help him on the family allotment – an essential contributor to eke out our daily meals. We grew to be a family of nine children, so food was not plentiful. The allotment was my escape – to a bit of space in the outdoors. It is there that I nurtured my dream to one day own a piece of land in this new country, that I could call my own.”
“That was the beginning of a long, but very focused journey to achieve my goal. I finally bought my small farm on the Devon Cornwall border when I was 40 and from there was inspired to launch The Black Farmer brand. A name coined by my neighbours who were unused to having a man of colour in their midst!”
“Now in my mid 60’s I am proud to be a British Jamaican. People often wonder why from such a small island extraordinary people arise and make a great impact on the world. Think of Bob Marley, Usain Bolt and many more. Well we Jamaicans know the secret. It is down to the food we eat and love!”
To find out more about The Black Farmer Windrush Initiative and the inspirational stories of many of Britain’s Windrush Heroes visit https://theblackfarmer.com/windrush-celebration/
The Black Farmer Sweet Chilli Pork Sausages – RRP £3.00
The Black Farmer Sweet Chilli Chicken Sausages – RRP£3.00