Tesco launches food education programme to improve kids’ health

Tesco is launching a food education programme for primary school children as it aims to teach kids more about where food comes from as part of its wider ambition to help people eat more healthily.

Video: Tesco introduces the Farm to Fork scheme, the first part of its Eat Happy Project


The “Farm to Fork” scheme aims to take 1 million primary school pupils on educational trails in factories, farms and supermarkets, offering practical demonstrations on where food comes from and how it is made. Children will also have the opportunity to talk to suppliers throughout the world, for example banana growers in Costa Rica, through a partnership with Google’s Connected Classrooms service.

Farm to Fork is the first part of Tesco’s Eat Happy Project, which also launches today (27 January) and aims to help people eat more healthily. Tesco is investing £15m in the scheme in the first year and supporting the programme with the launch of a standalone website, as well as activity in store and across digital and social media channels.

Future plans include cookery courses for children in stores in partnership with the Children’s Food Trust and a tie-up with social media cooking channel Sorted Food.

The supermarket says its aim is “help the next generation have a healthier and happier relationship” with food. The move comes after figures from the Future Foundation found that fewer than 10 per cent of children eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, with half of parents fearing the impact of children’s diet on their long-term health.

Chris Bush, managing director of Tesco UK, says: “We know parents are concerned that kids don’t always understand how food is made and where it comes from, which is important to developing a strong positive life-long relationship with food.”

Supermarkets are coming under increasing pressure to help improve public health after signing up to the government’s public health responsibility deal. Launched in 2011, the deal saw supermarkets sign pledges to help customers reduce their intake of fat, salt and calories through actions such as smaller portion sizes, increased marketing of low calorie options and education. It is also part of Tesco’s efforts to become more transparent in explaining the provenance of food following the horse meat scandal.

Encouraging customers to lead healthier lives is also one of Tesco’s three “big ambitions”, alongside cutting food waste and creating opportunities for young people. Last year it announced plans to end multi-buy promotions of large bags of salads after finding that 68 per cent of bagged salad is thrown away.

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