The catering team at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog) today revealed plans to target two major food and drink trade shows as part of its sourcing operation.
Locog will bring its sourcing team to the Speciality & Fine Food Fair, held at Olympia in September, and a larger group of buyers and development chefs to IFE11, held at ExCel next March, for "Meet the Buyer" sessions.
The move means exhibitors of all sizes at both events will be in with a chance of getting their products on to the 14 million plates of food served to visitors, media, VIPs and athletes during the 2012 Games.
The team will be looking to source quality local and regional produce from the UK and internationally, according to Jan Matthews, head of catering at Locog.
"Although the 2012 Games are primarily based in London, we are dedicated to showcasing the finest food from around Britain while ensuring that we offer a wide range of international cuisine to the 16,500 people we need to cater for in the Athletes' Village," she said.
"London 2012 will be the largest peace-time catering operation in the world, so the Meet the Buyer events really will provide a mammoth opportunity for exhibitors to get involved. The whole catering team is really excited about uncovering a huge range of businesses to help meet our demands."
Toby Wand, group event director at Fresh RM, the organiser of both exhibitions, added: "We can't stress enough the scale of the opportunity that Locog is offering to exhibitors at both our shows. It is notoriously difficult and highly unusual for companies to get an audience with such a high-profile catering team, so we're delighted that we are able to facilitate this."
The announcement comes in the week that catering bosses warned that "ego and PR" are the only reasons to cater at the 2012 Olympics, amid concerns that achieving profits would prove difficult.
By Daniel Thomas
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