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Services to food and farming recognised in New Years Honours list 2020

Wilfred Emmanuel – Jones, also known as ‘The Black Farmer’, was among those in food and farming to be recognised in the Queen’s New Years 2020 Honours list.

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Services to food and farming recognised in New Years Honours list 2020

New Years Honours are awarded on merit and recognise the exceptional achievements of people across the UK.


This year’s honours were overshadowed by a data breach, which saw the Government accidentally publish the addresses of more than 1,000 recipients online.


Mr Emmanuel Jones founded the Black Farmer brand nearly a decade ago, and has since had a successful television career.


He bought Higher West Kitchen Farm in St. Giles on the Heath, Launceston, Cornwall, where he continues to produce gluten-free meat and dairy products to stores nationwide.


He was made an MBE for services to British farming, after founding the Black Farmer Scholarship, which has helped thousands of students from ethnic minorities to work in the agricultural community.


Speaking to Devon Live, he said: “It was a massive surprise. I am used to a lot of surprises in my life but this one really came out of the blue.


"I spent all my time scratching my head not even realising people had put me forward for the things I had been doing. As far as I am concerned, I have just got on with what I have done."


Peter Barfoot, founder and chairman of Barfoots of Botley, a global food and farming business, also made the list for services to sustainable farming.


The Hampshire grower started the family-fun company in 1976 and now farms 2,800ha (7,000 ac) in the UK, harvesting millions of asparagus and sweetcorn products, which are exported to Senegal, Peru and Spain.

Public Servants


Ian Davidson, former head of the Agricultural Policy Division within Scottish Government has been awarded an OBE for services to agriculture.


Mr Davidson, who retired last spring, was recently appointed to lead the new Scottish Land Matching Service.


He has been tasked with bringing together well established farmers who might want to step back with new entrants willing to farm their land on a joint venture basis.


Easter Ross farmer Willie Gill is also to be invested with an OBE for services to agriculture nationally and within his home county.


Mr Gill is a former chairman Honorary Secretary and director of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland with 15 years so service in the various posts.


He is also a former director of Highland Grain and Highland Machinery Ring.


Pedigree livestock breeding in Scotland has also been recognised with the award of an MBE to Forfar farmer and former grain merchant Geordie Soutar.


Over recent years he has built up his Dunlouise Herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle using only original native genetics.


These were painstakingly sourced from the very few herds in the UK which had not introduced North American bloodlines.


He has since experienced strong export and home market demand for his cattle.


Also recognised was Orkney livestock auctioneer John Copland who was awarded an MBE in recognition of the 46 years he served as auctioneer and latterly manager of Orkney Auction Mart in Kirkwall.


Yorkshire farmer and local councillor Peter Sowray received an MBE for services to the community in North Yorkshire.


Department Staff


Several members of Defra have also been recognised in the New Years Honours list.


Among those listed was Tamara Finkelstein, director general for Defra, who has been appointed a Companion of the Order of Bath for her services to the public sector.


Others from the department honoured included Defra team leader Tony Hitching and Andrew Carroll, senior executive officer, who have been awarded a BEM for their contributions to voluntary service.


Defra director Emma Bourne has also been awarded for services to public administration, and Gabrielle Edwards, deputy director of Chemicals, Pesticides and Hazardous Waste, was recognised for her services to the environment.


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