With its commitment to choice, diversity and affordable prices, London 2012 is setting new standards for catering at UK events and leaving a positive legacy for the future.
What is the London 2012 food vision?
The blueprint for the food and drink on offer to spectators at the Games was written back in 2009 in the food vision.
The key aims of the food vision are to ensure we offer affordable food that offers choice and diversity, and that we have healthy food and can cater for special dietary and cultural requirements too.
The Food Vision centres around five core themes:
1) Food safety and hygiene
Resilient supply chains
2) Choice and balance
Catering for diverse dietary requirements
Quality, choice and value
Free drinking water
Healthy and nutritious options
3) Food sourcing and supply chains
Minimal environmental impact
High ethical standards
Meeting defined product standards
4) Environmental management, resource efficiency and waste
Efficient use of equipment
Reduced packaging and reusable materials
Minimising waste and promoting recycling
5) Skills and education
Supporting improved skill levels
Sustainability at the core of industry training
A truly diverse work force
It has been extremely rewarding to see food producers, growers and caterers responding so creatively to the challenges of serving up to 14 million meals over such a short time scale.
We are also proud that we have won several awards for our work in supporting and promoting sustainable food procurement and the British food industry – these include a Good Food on the Public Plate Award and a Good Egg Award, awarded by Compassion in World Farming. Not to mention being recognized for outstanding services to the British pig industry!
What food is available at the Games?
There are two main themes to the food available inside London 2012 venues: firstly, British food that reflects the multicultural mix of dishes we enjoy across the UK. This includes everything from fish and chips to curries, seafood to hog roasts, classic Italian dishes, and of course cakes and treats.
Secondly, there will be food from countries and regions around the world – South Africa (Braai – barbecued dishes), Asia, Mediterranean, Caribbean – plus a great range of international sausages and street food.
In planning the menus, we have given consideration to people following gluten-free diets, vegetarians, people requiring halal or kosher food, and to feeding children.
Find out more about food in venues and download sample menus .
The legacy of our food vision
Contractors are required to serve food in compostable packaging and to source food in a way that has as low an environmental impact as possible. For many of them this has meant implementing a fundamental change in how they source products and packaging –and is something they plan to adopt long term.
In addition, since engaging with local and national suppliers to procure food products of British origin, many have adopted this practice across their business and are actively seeking Red Tractor accredited meat suppliers, for example.
Making London a Sustainable Fish City
It is estimated 82 tonnes of seafood will be served during the Games in the Olympic and Paralympic Village alone. We decided to only use sustainable fish, thereby showing it can be affordable, achievable and delicious.
The success of this sustainable fish policy inspired a collaborative project launched in January 2011, with the aim of making London become the world’s first Sustainable Fish City, which has already been adopted by many local and national organisations.
Many organisations have already adopted these standards – including The National Trust, London Zoo, 15 London universities, the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London and a wide range of restaurants and caterers, serving well over 100 million meals a year. Many organisations whose jurisdiction stretches outside London have adopted this too including Central Government, prisons and areas of the Armed Forces.
All our caterers have found wonderful new suppliers through this process, began using products from several of them in advance of the Games and plan to work with most well beyond 2012.