A new food education programme with the aim of encouraging sustainability and reducing waste has been launched.
The Prince’s Foundation’s Food For The Future was launched on Thursday in partnership with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
It is hoped the ‘unique’ programme will give young people a greater understanding of the food system works and how it impacts the environment.
The Soil Association is also involved along with Oliver’s childhood friend, farmer and television presenter Jimmy Doherty.
The scheme will be piloted at the foundation’s Dumfries House headquarters in East Ayrshire, starting this month, and will initially include 48 pupils from four participating secondary schools, with an aspiration for it to eventually be rolled out nationally.
Over the course of the programme, which will run throughout the academic year, pupils will have the opportunity to learn from experts in farming and cooking, including Doherty and Oliver.
The programme will engage pupils in hands-on horticulture and farming activity, including industry visits and the opportunity to explore the inner workings of factories and meeting rare breeds of animals like those reared on Jimmy’s farm.
They will also be given the opportunity to improve their skills and confidence in the kitchen with Jamie’s expertise in food education to guide them.
Food For The Future has been developed as part of The Prince’s Foundation’s wider Making Food Go Further initiative.
Around 70% of all food wasted in the UK stems from within the home and the food we eat accounts for about 25% of our greenhouse gas footprint.
Currently 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted every year around the globe, around a third of all food produced, and tackling food waste offers the opportunity to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 10 per cent.
Jacqueline Farrell, education director for The Prince’s Foundation at Dumfries House, said: “Sustainability and nature-based learning are the common thread that runs through all the education programmes delivered by The Prince’s Foundation.
“Through Food For The Future, we hope to inspire young people to think about food and waste in a completely different way.
“After immersing them in the practical process and science related to food production systems from the ground up, we will challenge them to come up with their own sustainable solutions to tackling food waste before providing them with the support needed to become food champions at home, at school and in their communities.”
And Jamie Oliver said: “Understanding where food comes from, how it’s grown and the impact it has on communities and the planet is so vital in helping us better understand how the food choices we make can have a positive impact on the planet.
“Combining food education and sustainability is really unique to this programme, and I have developed a series of recipes, tips and hacks to show the kids taking part how to make their food go further so they can limit food waste at home – which is not only good for the planet but it’s good for the wallet too.”