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Introducing The Tesco Eat Happy Project and our Farm to Fork initiative

26 January 2014

Today we’re setting out on a new journey,  it’s a long-term commitment to help the next generation develop a better relationship with food – we’re calling it The Tesco Eat Happy Project. We’re launching our plans to the media this morning, take a look at our press release here.

Children today are losing the connection with food that many of us formed when we were young. Research from the Future Foundation has shown us that an astounding 80% of British parents say their kids are less healthy than they used to be as kids. As a father myself I know how important it is for kids to learn to live a healthy, balanced life and how difficult this can sometimes be.

And as a food retailer that feeds millions of families around the UK, we have a real opportunity to use our scale to make a difference. Taking the experience we have from working with UK schools for over two decades through Computers for Schools, we have worked with health and education specialists, as well as our suppliers, to develop a programme to reconnect children with food starting at the end of February.

Our ambition for this year is to take one million primary school children on Farm to Fork Trails across the UK, which involves:

  • Offering every primary school in the UK the chance to see where their food comes from, learning how food is grown and made; by exploring our suppliers’ factories and farms, as well as going behind-the-scenes at our Superstores and Extras.
  • Through technology, kids will also have the opportunity to talk live to our food suppliers around the world – like banana growers in Costa Rica – through Google hangouts and live video, using Google’s Connected Classrooms.
  • We’re also partnering with Sorted Food, Europe’s largest social media cooking channel, to engage children with content that makes cooking fun and accessible.

I’m pleased to say that our new The Tesco Eat Happy Project website is now live and primary schools can start registering their interest to take part in our Farm to Fork Trails. Do take a look at the website and watch the short video about Farm to Fork above.

In the lead up to the launch, we’ve been working closely with the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) and the Future Foundation – both are publishing reports this week outlining some eye-opening statistics on children’s relationship with food. You can read the BNF report here.

Each and every one of us has an important part to play in making Farm to Fork a success. With over 300,000 colleagues across the UK, we have a huge opportunity to reach out to every primary school in the country – just imagine what we can achieve together. So go out and speak to customers, your family and friends about Farm to Fork. If you have a connection to a primary school – as I’m sure many of you with young children will – then please do personally encourage the school to sign up.

And I must make a special mention of our brilliant colleagues in our Extras and Superstores who’ll be leading the Farm to Fork Trails in store when they start in February. Their job will be to use their enthusiasm, passion and humour to spark an interest in food, working with other colleagues in their store to bring the tours to life. I know they’ll do an amazing job and I can’t wait to see Farm to Fork in action.

I’m incredibly proud to think what the future holds for The Tesco Eat Happy Project, do take a look at my Talking Shop blog here. You’ll see plenty more about the project in coming weeks and months – I hope you’re as excited about it as I am.

Chris Bush

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