In his own words Wilfred is a ‘poor boy, done good.’ Unqualified but persistent, he made his way into TV and brought Gordon Ramsay to the screen. He then ignored the conventions of his race and upbringing, bought a small West Country farm and launched his sausage company. He’s since expanded into fashion. Wilfred argues that businesses should challenge the status quo and embrace jeopardy. Victimhood is a dangerous trap, in individuals and in companies.
In his own words, Wilfred is 'a poor boy, done good'. Born in Jamaica and raised in inner city Birmingham, unqualified but persistent, he talked his way into television. He was responsible for introducing chefs like Gordon Ramsay and James Martin to the small screen - but he’s now known simply as The Black Farmer.
After his stint in TV, Wilfred fulfilled his ambition to own a small farm in Devon. This in turn led him to launch a range of sausages and sauces under the Black Farmer label. He had spotted that while many farmers had lost any contact with the customer, he could engage directly with them and even persuade them to lobby supermarkets on his behalf. Wilfred’s brand now extends to country clothing.
Flavours without Frontiers (the strapline on all his products) sums up Wilfred’s personality and philosophy. He refuses to be confined by race, convention or tradition. His forthright opinions on rural affairs and what he sees as justice for small producers often generate attention - as does his call to business audiences to challenge old ways of doing things.
In presentations Wilfred argues that everyone must take personal responsibility for their actions, no matter how disadvantaged. The alternative is to slide into a culture of victimhood. As part of his own commitment to broaden horizons, he has launched a scholarship to give young people from inner city communities an opportunity to experience life in a rural environment.
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For me Wilfred is the perfect speaker. He isn’t one of those entrepreneurs who just dish up clichés. His is a personal story, full of lessons for delegates to take away and put into practice. The methods Wilfred used to take The Black Farmer from a niche, local product to an everyday supermarket brand are a ‘must-hear’ for any business that wants to grow. JLA Agent Allan Grant
Wilfred on Ruthless Focus in Business