Tesco has pledged £15m to help educate children about food via its Eat Happy Project.
Available to every primary school in the UK, Farm to Fork, the supermarket’s first initiative from the project, will provide children with the chance to learn more about food and where it comes from.
From the end of February, pupils will be able to go on educational Farm to Fork trails in factories, on farms and in supermarkets, for practical demonstrations of where food comes from and how it is made.
In a statement, Tesco said that the Eat Happy Project “is a commitment to improving children’s relationship with food”, and forms part of the company’s wider ambition to help and encourage all of its customers and colleagues to lead healthier and more active lives.
Supporters include Diabetes UK, the Children’s Food Trust and the NFU.
The supermarket said that it aims to take one million of the five million primary school children in the UK on the Farm To Fork trails in the project’s first year, as well as training 700 staff.
It launches as new research from the Future Foundation reveals that even though 90% of children say they know which foods are healthy, fewer than 10% achieve their five-a-day target. More than half (52%) believe potatoes count towards the total, and one in ten also count carrot cake.
Chris Bush, Tesco UK managing director, said: “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 lifelong relationship with food.
“Working closely with teachers, our suppliers and a number of partners including the Children’s Food Trust, we want to help make the relationship primary school kids have with food better, and that’s the aim of the Eat Happy Project.”
The second phase of the Eat Happy Project, launching later in the year, will involve cookery courses for kids in stores, working with the Children’s Food Trust.