Students' Scotch Beef burgers raise money for charity

Students from Bathgate Academy in West Lothian, Scotland, have been busy fundraising outside a local Tesco by selling Scotch Beef burgers, designed by the pupils.

The event was part of a partnership between Bathgate Academy and AK Stoddart, a Broxburn-based beef processor. Students of the academy were challenged by the beef producer to create a new Scotch Beef burger to be included in its product range. The challenge saw the pupils conduct market research, develop the product, design the packaging and create a marketing campaign to promote the product.

The initiative was designed to give students the chance to gain an understanding into working in the food sector.

There are so many job opportunities available in the food and drink industry, including science, product development, engineering, marketing, nutrition and design, said Moira Stalker, Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF) schools programme coordinator.

This project is a great way to get local children thinking about how their food is produced and how that relates to the many exciting jobs on offer.

The winning burger a Canadian-themed product with bacon and maple syrup was created by Jade Walker and Jennifer Houston. AK Stoddart worked with its printing partners to produce labels using the designs created by the winners.

The burger was used to raise just over 200 for local charity Home-Start West Lothian.

Working with S2 [the class] at Bathgate Academy has resulted in the production of a really inventive Canadian-themed Scotch Beef burger, commented Lucy Husband, sales and marketing director at AK Stoddart.

We were very impressed with all the submissions; the groups worked really hard to create innovative recipes and campaigns. The pupils have been involved in every stage of the production of their burgers and showed flair and imagination, while also coming up with a commercial campaign. Its a fantastic outcome for Jade and Jennifer to have their winning recipe showcased in their local Tesco, while raising money for their chosen charity.

The partnership is part of the A Future in Food campaign set up by SFDF and supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Emma Aitken, home economics teacher at Bathgate Academy said the scheme was an exciting learning experience for its pupils to understand the farm to fork process.

It is teaching pupils where the meat they eat comes from, how it is processed and then developed into a consumable product, said Aitken. The challenge also provides pupils with an insight into the different jobs and skills required in the food industry. Our S2 pupils have enjoyed this challenge and they created some innovative flavour combinations. We are delighted that AK Stoddart has produced the burgers for this event.

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