VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 5 POSTED ON: 2/18/2010
The Black Farmer™ Brings Colour to Food Retailing Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones (aka The Black Farmer) is a man with a mission. Not only has he made his mark as the only black farmer in the UK to stand up and be counted; he has to his credit one of the food industry’s most successful new brand launches – The Black Farmer™ sausages and sauces. But The Black Farmer’s approach is far from humble or grateful. In fact, this is a man who plans to change the face of modern food retailing. Flavours without Frontiers – the promise offered by his products also goes some way to sum up his personality. He, nor his products, will be confined by race, convention or tradition. The Black Farmer has some definite, no-nonsense views on how the food industry needs to shake itself up. He believes that the supermarkets have a monopoly on convenience and, while necessary, they have a responsibility to smaller producers who cannot compete – both in and out of store. For example, on a monthly basis supermarkets should give up a third of their car parks space to local producers to sell their wares; and that big corporates like Unilever should offer support (not domination) to small, independent nursery companies, as it is these small producers who bring true innovation to the marketplace. In the belief that supermarkets are doing their best to squeeze out the small guy thus getting rid of innovation, Emmanuel-Jones is unprecedented in barging in to demand that they list this brand. His bold approach has gained him an audience with four of the top five retailers, with Asda already listing The Black Farmer™ sausages, soon to be followed by Sainsbury, Morrisons and Tesco. He wants to shake up the one category in the supermarket that is dominated by own label to bring the consumer more choice. But he doesn’t think the retailers are solely responsible for the imbalance between large and small. His fellow producers in the South West, he concedes, share some of the blame. They insist on competing against each other, rather than grouping together as a cooperative and taking on other regions and other countries as a powerful and meaningful brand. Emmanuel-Jones believes in the power of the cooperative so much so that wants to form a strong cooperative in this country - and is already in the process of girding other like-minded producers into action. As Emmanuel-Jones prepares to launch his range of ham, bacon and chicken can this David take on the might of the retail Goliaths and win? --0— Note to editors: Emmanuel-Jones is, in his words, ‘a poor boy, done good’. As one of the first generation of immigrants to come to the UK, he was raised first in the poverty of the Jamaican bush followed by a childhood and youth spent with his eight brothers and sisters in a two up two down terraced house in Small Heath, inner-city Birmingham. His promise to himself was that he would get out of this gutter and one day enjoy a life in the British countryside. His route was circuitous. Unqualified but ambitious and persistent he talked his way into television, becoming a producer/director for the BBC (he is credited with bringing many of the top celebrity chefs to the small screen – Gordon Ramsay, Antony Worrall-Thompson, Brian Turner, James Martin et al); then he founded a food and drink marketing company with his wife and latterly, as owner of a small farm in Devon, producer his own range of meat and sauces under The Black Farmer label™. For further information or interview, please contact: Pinday Bains Commsplus Lansdowne House 3/7 Northcote Road London SW11 1NG Tel: 020 7 978 4132 Fax: 020 7 801 0535 email@example.com
"He has been on this crusade and challenging supermarkets from"