Surplus food put to good use with Tesco Community Cookery School programme, supported by Jamie Oliver
24 January 2019
Tesco has announced a new training programme Tesco Community Cookery School with Jamie Oliver, which will teach over 1,000 community cooks on how best to use surplus food donations to help stop good food going to waste.
Tesco has been focusing on reducing food waste for over a decade. In 2009, Tesco stopped sending food to landfill and in 2013, became the first retailer to publish its food waste data. In 2016, Tesco made a commitment that no food safe for human consumption will go to waste in its operations. Since then, every week it donates 300,000 meals of surplus food to over 7,000 different community and charity groups.
The Tesco Community Cookery School with Jamie Oliver, which has been developed in partnership with FareShare, will help community groups by offering training and advice on how to prepare nutritionally balanced meals out of surplus food donations.
One of the challenges facing community cooks is how to prepare unusual or unexpected ingredients and large quantities of seasonal produce, and so using recipes designed by Jamie Oliver and Tesco’s development chefs will ensure community cooks make the most of surplus food and reduce food waste.
The community cooks will learn everything from knife skills and nutrition to recipes for versatile base sauces, which can be adapted to complement a wide variety of donated food. Training will be free and attendees will receive free cooking equipment and a folder featuring Jamie’s food surplus recipes.
Tesco and Jamie Oliver will launch the Tesco Community Cookery School with Jamie Oliver at the Goodinge Community Centre (Islington, London), one of the community kitchens putting these food donations to good use, on Thursday 24 January. The programme will then roll out across the UK throughout the year.
Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said:
“Surplus food donations can make a huge difference to people in need, but can also create challenges for community cooks faced with unexpected, unusual or large volumes of a particular product. As part of our commitment to ensure all food that is safe to eat doesn’t go to waste, we’ve set up the Tesco Community Cookery School with Jamie Oliver. With Jamie’s help, we believe we can inspire, train and support charities to do even more with the donations they receive. Together, we can bring tasty and nutritious food to more people, in communities right across the UK.”
Jamie Oliver said:
“It’s fantastic to join the work that Tesco and FareShare are doing to reduce food waste. I’ve written these recipes to arm all those amazing community cooks with the tools to create something delicious and balanced for people who need it the most. It is all about giving otherwise-wasted ingredients some love, and transforming them into tasty, nutritious meals. For me, every dish we cook that reduces food waste is a winner!”
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell said:
“With Tesco’s support, FareShare is working with charities across the country to help feed hundreds of thousands of people in need every week. Most of these charities provide meals made by community cooks, who may already have lots of experience and just need some new ideas; or they could do with a really good grounding in nutrition and the scaling up of meals. In either case the Tesco Community Cookery School is ideal for them, and will have a direct benefit in providing nutritious hot meals to vulnerable people.”
Every day all Tesco stores are set up to donate their surplus food to charity and community groups. So far, Tesco has donated over 60 million meals of surplus food to charities and good causes.
Notes to Editors
- Tesco is nearly 80% of the way towards achieving its target that no food, safe for human consumption, goes to waste.
- FareShare is a UK-wide charity that redistributes food that would otherwise go to waste to charities and community groups, including homeless shelters, children's breakfast clubs, and domestic violence refuges. These organisations turn the food into nutritious meals and provide life-changing support. Visit the FareShare website to learn more.
- Jamie Oliver is a global phenomenon in food and campaigning. During a 20-year television and publishing career he has inspired millions of people to enjoy fresh, delicious food, and to cook from scratch. Jamie has set his organisation an ambitious target to halve the rate of childhood obesity by 2030.