Feeding our Olympic athletes healthy and sustainable food is a huge undertaking. Being able to serve over 14 million meals, across 40 different locations, in 27 days is quite a feat! The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) vision promised a memorable occasion that will make a positive impact before, during and beyond the main event.
The LOCOG understands the worldwide platform and impact of hosting the 2012 Olympic Games. They put sustainability at their bid of the Games and want to adhere to their promise by using five themes to the prepare and execute of their goals: climate change, waste, biodiversity, inclusion, and healthy living.
To focus on large venue of nine million spectators and 23, 900 athletes and officials, delivering sustainable, affordable and accessible foods, the LOCOG collaborated with The Russell Partnership to meet and exceed the demands. The Russell Partnership is a consultation agency specializing in catering, conferencing, events and leisure market. The Russell Partnership is regarded as innovative and proactive; through their ingenuity they promise to deliver creative solutions and commercially viable results from strategy creation to concept origination and implementation. Together, LOCOG and The Russell Partnership promise to deliver tastier, healthier, greener food to the Olympic Games, while keeping sustainability at the forefront, has become the “largest peace-time catering operation in the world”.
So how does McDonald’s, the Olympic worldwide partner, fit into this healthy, sustainable vision? McDonald’s agreed to the high benchmark standards of sustainability, food traceability, labeling and training that “all foods must achieve this standard or demonstrable equivalent and comply with the LOCOG Sustainable Sourcing Code”. Being the only branded food outlet at the Games, though there will be an array of other outlets in the form of kiosks, food courts and dining, McDonald’s will have to follow the promised goal of sustainability.
McDonald’s is not only increasing recycling by seventy percent or ensuring exemplary standards of food safety and hygiene at all venues, they also agreed to use organic dairy milk in their products and organic eggs, beef, lamb, veal and mutton free from damage or spoilage. It is unclear if McDonald’s will use these high standards of food sustainability after the Olympic Games, as Rosie Boycott, chair of Mayor Boris Johnson’s London Food directive, states “The thing that nobody knows yet, is will McDonald’s continue to follow the Olympic food standards afterward? We’re waiting to hear, and hoping”.
London has come full circle for setting high standards, holding all vendors to their vision and delivering their hopes, aspirations and goals to the world. Healthy living is a standard that everyone in the world can practice, from consuming organic, local-farm grown produce, poultry, and beef; to becoming greener through recycling and reusing and being attentive towards maximizing energy and water efficiency. Together we can be contributing examples of London Olympic Games by participating in sustainability efforts to advance our community, state, country and world.