Jamie Oliver to focus business empire on creating anti-obesity legacy

Jamie Oliver is to turn his business empire into an ethical “B corporation” as the chef embarks on an anti-obesity project which he says will be his “legacy”.

The Jamie Oliver Group released a social impact report on Friday, which it said was an “important step in its plans to become a leading social impact business”.

The report lays out how the group’s activities from 2019 onwards will all centre on a goal to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

The group plans to reach the target, known as “the 2030 project”, through mix of campaigning, Mr Oliver’s TV shows and books, products, and partnerships with other companies.

“I believe the 2030 Project will be my legacy – and I couldn’t be more excited about what’s next,” Mr Oliver said.

As part of its commitment to becoming a social impact business, the group is looking into becoming certified as a “B corp”, a status given to for-profit companies which meet certain standards of sustainability, accountability and transparency.

The process could take several years to complete.

The move comes a few months after all but three of Mr Oliver’s UK restaurants were closed down when the business went into administration.

In the social impact report, the chef said it had been a “difficult” year but the failure had motivated his team.

“The challenges we’ve weathered have galvanised us to be more effective, more focussed and more impactful,” he said.

Some parts of the restaurant empire still exist in the form of 65 international sites in 25 countries, as well as Fifteen Cornwall which is run as a franchise by a local food foundation.

Mr Oliver’s other business activities include his partnerships with firms such as Shell and Tesco.

Although he has faced criticism for his collaboration with Shell, the company said the new food range has increased the number of healthy options for Britain’s drivers.

Paul Hunt, chief executive of the Jamie Oliver Group, said the obesity targets will be considered before signing any new deals.

“We now examine every partnership we consider entering into through the prism of our 2030 Project: does it help us move towards our goal to halve UK childhood obesity over the next decade?”

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