With that the British meat industry prohibited from shipping raw sausages as well as fresh and chilled minced products to the European Union effective January 1, one entrepreneurial producer is warming to a frozen solution to the business barrier.
“There’s a really big opportunity to do premium frozen sausages for the continent,” Wilfred Emmanuel Jones, founder of The Black Farmer range, recently told BBC News. “I think we should have a British sausage mark, so if you’re going to be selling sausages to any part of the world, it’s unique to any of the sausages around the world.”
According to Jones, the United Kingdom is the only country in Europe that exports domestically produced raw sausages. Suppliers in other nations typically offer pre-cooked sausages, which have longer shelf lives.
“Rather than give up on British traditions and make pre-cooked sausages, Jones thinks that sausage makers need to bring in freezing equipment,” reported BBC’s Mary-Ann Russon.
Jones, who was born in Jamaica and emigrated to the UK with his family as a child in the 1950s, was raised in the inner city of Birmingham. He trained and worked as a chef and later became a TV producer/director who traveled the world making films about food and drink. In 1999 he bought a farm on the Devon/Cornwall border of Southwest England and went into the food business.
The Black Farmer brand today encompasses a wide variety of products. In addition to pork and jerk chicken sausages, the line features topside beef, beef brisket roasting joints, sirloin and T-bone steaks, short ribs, lamb chops, chicken and duck specialities, and many other items. All meat is free range and sourced locally in the West Country.
No story about The Black Farmer is complete without pointing out that Sir Jones, who made the Queen’s New Year’s Honors list 2020 and received an MBE for services to the British farming sector, overcame a life-threatening medical challenge before achieving greater success in business.
While in his late 50s, Jones was unexpectedly stricken with Leukaemia and nearly died. Thanks to the fast work of doctors and nurses at UCHL he pulled through. In order to prevent the cancer from returning, a stem cell transplant was performed that has left him with graft versus host disease.
“After spending the best part of a year in hospital, I came back with renewed passion and energy to build The Black Farmer brand,” said Jones., who is now 63 years old. “I also launched The Hatchery, where I work with young brands to mentor, advise and support. Two of the Hatchery brands have now launched with great success, Smorgasbord Swedish meatballs, and The Gym Kitchen.”