Free ingredients, recipes and resources for year 8 & 9 pupils!

Learn about the exciting Ingredients Into Schools pilot - providing teachers with free ingredients for cooking in lessons!

Free ingredients, recipes and resources - Ingredients into Schools pilot project

Practical cookery lessons are an important part of any food curriculum – but the cost of ingredients can be a barrier.  This was a key finding in research undertaken by Glasgow Caledonian University published last year (‘Ingredients to success?’, May 2023), based on a nation-wide survey of teachers and stakeholders on food education across the UK.

At the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)*, we wanted to help address this challenge and support young people to have practical cooking experiences.  This has seen us launch a new pilot initiative, in collaboration with the British Nutrition Foundation, providing ingredients to schools at no cost.

Funded by British farmers and supported by Lidl, the exciting initiative empowers students in Years 8 & 9 to develop practical cookery skills, enabling them to participate in activities that might otherwise be limited by budgetary constraints.

Starting with Pork Fortnight, schools across England have participated in the pilot programme, engaging students in hands-on learning experiences. The initiative extends beyond pork, with the Dairy & Flour Fortnight held last week and a Beef Fortnight planned for 22nd April to 3rd May 2024, coinciding with Great British Beef Week.

In addition to providing ingredients, schools also receive recipes, classroom resources, and expert guidance, equipping students with the knowledge and skills to cook confidently.  

For Beef Fortnight, ingredients and supporting resources will be provided to make a delicious Aromatic beef & potato curry.  A non-meat recipe and ingredients will also be provided to ensure all students are able to take part in the initiative. 

Positive feedback from teachers

We have received hugely positive feedback from teachers who have participated in the initiative to date.  I have been lucky enough to join some of the lessons taking place to see and hear first-hand from teachers and students.  This includes visiting Abbeywood Community School in Bristol, where Ashley Bowe is Head of Department for Design Technology. 

Talking about the Pork Fortnight, Ashley Bowe said:

“It was fantastic to use a quality ingredient in school which students were not familiar with. The students learnt about the provenance of British pork and the various uses in cooking.

It was great to have all of the ingredients to hand and with no worry of students not bringing them in. The students really appreciated the sessions and we have had a number of parents who appreciated it too.

Apart from a quick trip to the local Lidl, I did not have to plan much or worry about adapting the lesson for students who did not have their ingredients. Four classes all doing the same recipe helped to reduce the workload and planning.”

It’s not too late to get involved!

If you are interested in taking part in Beef Fortnight (22nd April – 3rd May) and your school meals are provided by Taylor Shaw, Edwards & Blake, Elior or Hutchison, we would love to hear from you. Teachers can contact Frances at by Monday 8th April to get on the programme.

* Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is a statutory levy board funded by farmers and others in the supply chain. Established in 2008 and classified as a Non-Departmental Public Body, AHDB supports the following industries: meat and livestock (Beef, Lamb and Pork) in England; Dairy in Great Britain; and Cereals and Oilseeds in the UK. For further information visit

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