The Food Vision for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games committed to ensuring that the catering will ‘enhance everyone’s experience of the Games by celebrating the great diversity and quality of British food, and delivering it at affordable prices.’
In our food review – On your Marks, Get Set, Grow – published in April 2010, we supported the ambitions of the Food Vision. LOCOG has put in an unprecedented amount of work to ensure food is of good quality, locally sourced, sustainable and healthy. In particular, the proportion of Red Tractor, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Fairtrade certified products available and the wide diversity of food on offer should be commended, although it is regrettable that this diversity was not reflected in the information released by LOCOG today.
Shaun McCarthy, Chair of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 said: “Overwhelmingly, the progress that LOCOG has made in terms of food is to be applauded. To ensure great quality, choice and healthy options are available to such a huge volume of people in a short period of time is impressive. The food on offer will be significantly more sustainable than at previous Games and should be higher quality than the comparably priced catering, demonstrating that it is possible to be sustainable and competitive.”
Having reviewed the information released by LOCOG outlining sample Games-time food pricing, the Commission believes that whilst prices are comparable to food available at large events and sporting venues, this does not necessarily translate to affordability. This has the potential to undo some of the good work done by LOCOG in ensuring a range of affordable Games tickets were available to lower income earners or families.
McCarthy continued “With regards to affordability, we are aware that LOCOG has made positive moves such as setting a maximum price for bottles of water but also believe that affordability of food within the Olympic Park and at other Games venues may remain a challenge for some spectators. However, people will be able to access free drinking water and bring their own food to the Games. We are also currently in discussions to encourage the availability of affordable family meal options.”