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Jamie Oliver launches Tesco Community Cookery School to fight food waste

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24 January 2019

Tesco and Jamie Oliver will launch the Tesco Community Cookery School at the Goodinge Community Centre, a FareShare charity, in London on Thursday 24 January. The programme will then roll out across the UK in 2019 to help 1,000 community cooks find more ways to use surplus food donations to help stop good food going to waste.

Tesco has been focusing on reducing food waste for over 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 charities and 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. By using recipes designed by Jamie Oliver and Tesco’s development chefs will help these 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 CEO Dave Lewis said: “Surplus food donations 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 a next step in our fight against food waste, we’re launching the Tesco Community Cookery School with Jamie Oliver to help community cooks avoid food waste. 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. The food industry throws away a shocking amount of fresh edible food, so Tesco’s efforts to find a good home for its surplus is a big step in the right direction.

“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.”

FareShare works with Tesco and other retailers through FareShare Go, a service which matches local charities and their nearest supermarket to receive free surplus food.  So far, Tesco has donated over 60 million meals of surplus food to charities and good causes.

Please note that the Cookery School is fully subscribed for 2019. Watch out for updates on last minute availability.

For more information on how to receive free food, please visit https://fareshare.org.uk/getting-food/fareshare-go-support/

Pic (L-R) CEO of Tesco Dave Lewis, Jamie Oliver and Lindsay Boswell Fareshare CEO, cooking at Goodinge Community Centre, central London. Picture by Andrew Parsons / i-Images, Image ©Licensed to i-Images Picture Agency.