Did you know that Ealing has an unemployment rate amongst 18-25 year olds that is one fifth higher than the London average? Ealing is a borough in West London that has growing issues of poverty and inequality.
Controversially, the food industry is struggling to find and keep talented employees. More than 100 food companies are located in the borough of Ealing, with Belazu Ingredient company being one of them. We are convinced that by getting young people excited about a job in the food industry we can contribute towards reducing the unemployment rate and provide the food industry with new, motivated talent!
Therefore, Belazu launched Fresh Enterprise together with the charity School Food Matters. The project shows Ealing secondary students the scope of possible careers in the food industry and gives them an understanding of the journey of their food.
96 students aged between 11-14 from Northolt High School, Dormer Wells and Greenford High were invited to Belazu for a factory tour and a series of workshops led by the company’s founders and other members of the team who all gave business insights into running development projects from inception to execution.
At the end of the tour, the students were given the task to create a recipe that could sit within Belazu Ingredient Company’s Mediterranean range of pastes. Together with School Food Matters’ chef Michaela, the students experimented with different ingredients and created their own paste, which they then presented to the Belazu tasting panel. The board were so impressed with the outcome and, instead of the original idea to pick and produce the favoured recipe, the directors decided to make the three final products.
The three pastes can be added to dishes in a variety of ways to give them an easy hit of flavour. Our chef Henry used the Dip in Dormers to make a quick keema curry, Ripe Spice to make a coating for an Asian style dish and Pecot as a sandwich filling with roast beetroots and carrots.
Having local students design a product that afterwards is being sold and seen as an equal company product gives this project real live experience and depth. The sales of the products will be communicated back to the students and the money they raised will give other students the opportunity to be part of this unique project.
"My favourite part was creating our own paste with our choice of ingredients without checking a list! We could be creative but also make something really nice that other people like as well.” – Student from Northolt
After the project 43% of the students agreed Fresh Enterprise made them think about new career options within the food industry. Both the schools and Belazu thought the project was a great success and Fresh Enterprise 2019 will start in March, this time with 8 local schools.
One third of the production was donated to the schools. The remaining jars you can buy on our website with 100% of the proceeds going to the Belazu Foundation to support Fresh Enterprise 2019.