The Black Farmer Creates more History…
“I am black, red, white and blue” exclaims Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones aka The Black Farmer, as he dances in his fields while holding aloft the Union flag and dancing with his local Morris dancing side. The image of a black person in activity not normally associated with being black and British is ground-breaking in itself.
On further investigation you discover that Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones thrives on being a ground-breaker. Britain’s first black farmer and now the first wholly owned black mainstream brand to advertise on British mainstream TV. Not satisfied with that first, Emmanuel-Jones wanted to make an advert that was ground-breaking and is set to change the rules of how to advertise food products on TV.
“For a black-owned and fronted brand to advertise on Channel 4 is an absolute first and I hope its not the last. When it comes to TV advertising, there is very little evidence of diversity – the time has come to change that,” says Emmanuel-Jones.
There has recently been a lot of debate about the lack of diversity in the creative industries. No black actors nominated for the Oscars; Idris Elba’s talk on diversity at the House of Lords and Lenny Henry’s campaign for more diversity in the creative industries. “I think that if we spend our time pleading for opportunities we will be waiting forever for true representation. It is down to us people of colour to show what is possible and to present our vision of diversity Britain. It is the pioneers who challenge stereotypes who will bring about change.”
Within a year of his close brush with death from Leukaemia and a stem cell transplant which confined him to a hospital bed for the best part of 2014, and still in the early days in his recovery, Wilfred is fired up and ready for a new a challenge. Always a game changer, this time he is shaking up the well established world of TV advertising and fronting his company’s first ever TV commercial.
Having appointed London-based agency Big Eyes a chance remark led to Wilfred joining forces with his directing hero, Hollywood legend and industry bad-boy Tony Kaye.
#thisismysoul the result, is less a food brand commercial more a confirmation that rural Britain, its farmers, its traditions and heritage are cool and firmly lodged in The Black Farmer’s soul. Set in his rural idyll in Devon it sees Wilfred indulging in his passions of Morris dancing and Flamenco. A ground breaking commercial – sausages have never been advertised in this way before. See a sneak preview of the ad: https://vimeo.com/151191280
The Black Farmer TV commercial launches on Channel 4 on Friday April 8th.
Driven by his love of rural life and its traditions, 2016 will see Wilfred embark on a campaign to popularise Morris dancing amongst his urban neighbours. A national tour will commence in Leeds on April 8th.
Credited with being the first black farmer in the UK, Wilfred has risen from humble beginnings, first in Jamaica and then inner-city Birmingham, to overcome the odds, buy a small farm on the Devon/Cornwall border and launch one of the most successful new food brands in the UK – The Black Farmer, whose range of gluten free sausages that now occupy the number one spot as UK’s top selling super premium sausage brand.
Wilfred’s life journey has taken him on an interesting route. He left school with no qualifications, a difficult student and undiagnosed dyslexic. After an unsuccessful episode in the army, for a number of years Wilfred worked as a chef, before pursuing a career in the BBC, becoming a producer/director mainly working on food and drink programmes. He is credited with bringing many of the top celebrity chefs to the small screen including Gordon Ramsay, Antony Worrall-Thompson, Brian Turner and James Martin.
As well as taking time to write a cookery book published by Simon & Schuster and give motivational talks to young entrepreneurs, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Marketing by Plymouth University.
Reflecting Wilfred’s own story, The Black Farmer supports Leuka cancer charity; British Dyslexic Association and CHICKS the Devon-based charity providing respite breaks for disadvantaged children in the UK.
Flavours without Frontiers – the promise offered by his products also goes a long way to sum up his personality. Wilfred will not be confined by race, convention or tradition.
For further information, interview, photographs:
Ronke Lawal firstname.lastname@example.org
Michaela Pain Michaela@theblackfarmer.com