Adnams extends Food for Thought schools project

Emily Deasley, left, and Marley Cross, Year 4 pupils from Wenhaston Primary School with the crop o

Emily Deasley, left, and Marley Cross, Year 4 pupils from Wenhaston Primary School with the crop of tomatoes they grew as part of the Food for Thought project run by Adnams. - Credit: Archant

A Southwold brewer, pub owner and hotelier is hoping to get more schools signed up to a social enterprise scheme aimed at encouraging pupils to grow fresh produce and gain business experience by selling it on to restaurants.

Adnams is currently working with Wenhaston Primary School near Halesworth and Flegg High School at Martham in Norfolk on its Food for Thought project.

Both are growing and supplying fruit and vegetables for use in the kitchens of Adnams hotels. Flegg High School is supplying potatoes and herbs to The White Horse at Blakeney, while Wenhaston Primary School is supplying ingredients such as tomatoes to The Swan and The Crown in Southwold, where the chef has created chutney from the pupils’ produce.

The project, the brainchild of Adnams chief executive Andy Wood and project manager Siobhan Eke, began in 2015.

Following the initial success of the scheme, it is set to be extended to other educational institutions.

Adnams provides a start-up cash fund, which the schools can use to buy materials, seeds, plants and equipment. They are then encouraged to find creative ways to get what they need from ‘win win sponsorship’ deals with local and national companies.

Sadie Lofthouse, head of human resources at Adnams, said: “Everyone working with Adnams understands how important it is that we contribute to and support the education of young people within our communities.

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“They are potentially our future employees and their success will help build a stronger, healthier and more prosperous society for us all.”

Those involved in the project had had “a lot of fun”, she added.

“The Food for Thought project allows us to establish a long-term relationship with schools and students and we believe the project has real potential to benefit the wider community. Early results have been great and I’m confident the project will go from strength to strength.”

Ms Eke said the project aims to help pupils from five years old to 15 to develop a breadth of knowledge, capabilities and life-skills.

“I genuinely wish every child, business and community had the opportunity to be involved in a similar endeavour. We’d all be richer for it and reap the rewards,” she said.

Adnams is looking for enthusiastic and enterprising partner schools in Suffolk and Norfolk to join the scheme. Those interested should email