The organising committee of the London 2012 Olympics is keen to source products from small- and medium-sized bakery companies as it gears up for the 17-day event next year.
Food buyers from the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) will attend an event on 3 February, organised by consultant Prevista, where it will brief food companies, including bakeries, about what they are looking for from potential suppliers. The LOCOG sourcing team will also be at IFE in March.
In particular, the team will be looking to source local and regional produce from the UK, including bakery products. Jan Matthews, head of catering, said: “Although the 2012 Games are primarily based in London, we are dedicated to showcasing the finest food from around Britain while also ensuring that we offer a wide range of international cuisine. 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.”
A similar event at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair in London in September gave biscotti producer Nisi’s the opportunity to pitch its products to LOCOG buyers, with coffee concessions and VIP lounges at the games a key target market.
“If we are successful with LOCOG, it would be a really good endorsement. I estimate it would mean making an extra 200,000 biscotti,” said MD Denise Stevenson.
There will be 31 competition venues at London 2012 with a workforce of 160,000, 23,900 athletes and team officials, 20,600 members of the press and 4,800 Olympic and Paralympic family members due to attend. It is estimated that the Olympic Village alone will consume 25,000 loaves of bread during the event
The major catering contracts for the games are due to be announced next week with LOCOG then advising contractors on which products it would like them to stock. SME suppliers are required to have accreditation such as SALSA, Red Tractor or BRC.