Ardrossan Academy has been selected as one of four secondary schools to take part in a unique food education pilot headed up by TV personalities Jamie Oliver and Jamie Doherty which launched today.

The 'Food for the Future' pilot will support 48 pupils across the four schools and has been developed in partnership with The Prince's Foundation and Jamie Oliver, Jimmy Doherty and The Soil Association.

A staggering 70 per cent of all food wasted in the UK stems from within the home and, for each of us, the food we eat accounts for about 25 per cent of our greenhouse gas footprint.

The Food For The Future programme will be piloted at the charity’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.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver said: “Understanding where food comes from, how it’s grown and the impact it has on communities and the planet are 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 are 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.”

TV presenter and farmer Jimmy Docherty said: “Tackling food waste has never been more important than it is right now, which is why I’m proud to be collaborating with The Prince’s Foundation, Jamie Oliver and The Soil Association on this very exciting education project.

"We all have a part to play in reducing food waste - whether that be through individuals making more informed choices, supermarkets choosing to stock food with a longer shelf life or demonstrating good modelling in terms of sustainable farming and growing practices through programmes like Food For The Future.”

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 Jimmy Doherty and Jamie Oliver.

It aims to champion sustainability and combat food waste by giving young people a greater understanding of how the food system works, how it impacts the environment and how to better champion sustainable practices. 

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 Oliver’s expertise in food education to guide them. The programme will help equip students with the right skills to prepare a range of seasonal, nutritious dishes while minimising food waste by using ingredients creatively to make every dish go further.

Food For The Future has been developed as part of The Prince’s Foundation’s wider Making Food Go Further initiative. The launch of the programme comes at a vital time for the environment, when limiting food waste plays a key role in reducing household carbon emissions.

 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. 

Sarah Gowanlock, The Soil Association’s project manager for community food hubs and programme adaptation, said: “We have just completed a six-month research project on community food hubs which has shown there is clear potential for schools to engage more and to help increase access to healthy and sustainable food as well as developing cooking and growing skills in the local community.

"As a result, we’re delighted to support The Prince’s Foundation’s Food for the Future programme through the Making Food Go Further partnership to inspire and educate pupils about food and sustainability and empower them to  make positive change in their own lives, their schools, and their local food system.”

To celebrate the launch, HRH The Prince of Wales, President of The Prince’s Foundation, attended an event at Dumfries House where he met TV presenters and farmers Jimmy and Michaela Doherty, and teachers and pupils from Ardrossan Academy, The Robert Burns Academy, Wallace Hall Academy and Glasgow school St Thomas Aquinas, who are participating in the pilot.