The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 has published its review of food and catering across the London 2012 programme. The food review, titled On your marks, get set, grow, praises the work done by London 2012 in linking food and sustainability. This is the first Summer Games to make such a connection. The report is available here.
The Commission has identified a number of positive food achievements such as LOCOG’s Food Vision, which sets out plans to provide healthy, affordable and sustainable food during the Games and to celebrate the diversity of British cuisine through on-site catering. In the review, the Commission now sets LOCOG the challenge of ensuring that these aspirations are delivered.
The ODA is also commended for improving catering standards for the Olympic construction and infrastructure workers, including the promotion of seasonal fruit and vegetables, Fairtrade products and meat from welfare-conscious sources. The Commission calls for this success to be translated into a template that can be used on any large UK construction site.
The Commission recommends exploring greater opportunities for growing food on the Olympic Park after the Games end. The OPLC should follow the example set by the Athletes Village by implementing a food growing strategy that would enable the Park to be ‘retrofitted’ for food-growing, making it easy for residents and businesses to access healthy and sustainable food.
Shaun McCarthy, Chair of the Commission, said: “During the London Games, around 14 million meals will be served. The challenge is not just one of scale. We must foster a culture of food that embeds sustainable practices into every link of the supply chain, thinking about health, employment and welfare, not just whether food is ‘green’. Needless to say, the food should taste great too. The ODA has already successfully tackled the ‘burgers or nothing’ option at their construction sites, and this is the kind of progress that will create a sustainable food culture that lives on after the Games come to an end.”
As an International Olympic Committee sponsor, McDonalds will provide around 20% of Games-time meals for the general public in the Olympic Park. Coca Cola and Cadbury, as sponsors, will also have a major presence at the London 2012 venues. All three companies have made considerable efforts to reduce the social and environmental impacts of their products and all three have also signed up to the LOCOG Food Vision. Given the link between sport and health, during the Games, the sponsors, along with LOCOG, will need to consider how best to address popular perception of their products.
The Commission will continue to monitor food as part of its remit and looks forward to seeing evidence of the Food Vision being delivered through the procurement process for caterers, continued activity of LOCOG’s Food Advisory Group in supporting delivery of the Food Vision, and the development and launch of the London 2012 Food Charter.