LAUNCH OF 2021 COMPETITION

We are delighted to be launching the 2021 Competition to schools in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Hampshire, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight and are very grateful for the continued support of our sponsors Coop Midcounties' Best of our Counties in the Midlands and Natures Way Foods in the South. They enable us to carry on educating young teenage cooks about where their food comes from and why it's so important to value local food.

LOCAL FOOD AND THE PLANET

Supporting our local farmers and food producers has never been more important as we move post BREXIT and climate change becomes more of an issue. Young cooks are telling us they care about the planet and it's one of the main reasons they want to buy more local food. Last year's Gloucestershire winners Emma and Jemima from Denmark Road High School designed a menu that focused on ingredients from within 10 miles of their school in Gloucester. They told us why:

“We think buying local food is immensely important, as it reduces our carbon footprint, by having less food miles. Climate change is a huge issue in today's society and transportation such as planes, cars, any type of vehicle will increase a carbon footprint. With minimal food miles, minimal impact on the planet and great tasting produce, local food a great option to choose.

We wanted our key ingredients to come from within a 10mile radius of our school as climate change is important to us. Our plum jam uses Blaisdon plums from the village just outside Gloucester and is made by Sarah Churchill of Artisan Kitchen 1 mile from our school. Our Double Gloucester cheese and Harefield cheese for our pesto are from Smarts cheesemakers which is about 5 miles from our school.”

Educating young people about the connections between what they buy and the future of the planet is important and through the Create & Cook Competition the next generation is really making this link. Noah from Bredon School sums up:

" I have learnt local food is good for me, my community and the planet"

REFLECTIONS ON 2020

We were so pleased that despite lockdowns, schools still managed to finish off their work on the 2020 Create & Cook Competition. Many young cooks sent in their entries from home, with schools closed and this was a fantastic effort. Thank you and well done to our great winning cooks this year.

2020 has been a year when we have learnt to value our local shops, food producers and farmers as we turned to more local suppliers. It's been a year of reflecting on the quality of our food systems as we move post BREXIT, post pandemic. It's also been a year when we've had to fight for all children to have access to good food with the end child food poverty campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford.

So we wonder what 2021 will bring? We hope a calmer year. And for us, we hope it brings a new enthusiastic bunch of young cooks all keen to show off their skills, who have pride in using their local ingredients and in the area where they live. Young cooks who care about how their food is produced and the impact it has on the environment. We look forward to it.........


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