Regardless if you are an athlete or a fan, we all require nutritional well-balanced meals to keep us healthy, active and fit for Olympic competition (or the cheering section)! Food supply is a critical component for any large venue at any time. Needless to say, for those who are supplying to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the task at hand is not only essential, but perhaps somewhat daunting when you start to think about the number of meals to be served, the quantities required and the logistics
Like much of Canada, I find myself glued to the television taking in every aspect of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC! Since I cannot be there in person, I enjoy the opportunity to participate at least virtually through my little Samsung - moving back and forth as they ski down the hill, standing on my toes when they jump in the air, cringing at the thought of ever attempting to luge, and wondering if I will ever make it around the skating rink in my own hometown in under three minutes let alone a few seconds with thousands of elated Canadians shouting Go! Canada! Go!
It occurred to me as I was watching the athletes and the thousands and thousands of fans, volunteers and residents in attendance how important the role of food supply plays at these Games. Regardless if you are an athlete or a fan, we all require nutritional well-balanced meals to keep us healthy, active and fit for Olympic competition (or the cheering section)! Food supply is a critical component for any large venue at any time. For those who are supplying to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the task at hand is not only essential, but perhaps somewhat daunting when you think about quantities and without a doubt must certainly be as intricate as a "triple salchow" considering the logistics involved! To everyone supplying food and beverage products directly to the Games - I applaud your efforts - without a doubt, Canada must thank you as well for your Gold Medal performances in supply!
Seeking additional information on what it takes to be a supplier to the Olympics on the Food and Beverage side afforded me the opportunity to think about the complexity of such an initiative and how marvellous it is to have an organization that can pull that all together.
At the very base of this Mountain so-to-speak, supplying the Olympic Games can present a wonderful opportunity from a marketing perspective but as you climb to the peaks (or take the chair lift in my case) there are certainly many other considerations that the organizing committee and those who supply to the Games must take into account not the least of which is supply and logistics, warehousing and handling, preparation and serving. Food safety is paramount and must play a key role at each level of the supply chain. As the population continues to grow to accommodate Olympic visitors, those who work in the restaurants, eateries and lodging at or near the Games venues, are doing their best to service their Guests around the clock. Food Suppliers, with practice and preparation underhand, and with thanks to planning by Vancouver Games organizers, endeavour to deliver fresh supplies during evening hours skilfully manipulating around barricades and road blocks (agility not unlike our awesome Canadian Snowboarders!). Just like the athletes, timing is of the essence!
The 2010 Vancouver Winter Games has some wonderful food and beverage manufacturers as sponsors and some of these sponsors will also be represented at the 2012 Summer Games in London, England:
General Mills is the Official Supplier of Cereal and Unprepared Grocery Products for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Its sponsorship supports the 2010 Winter Games, and the Canadian Olympic teams for the 2008, 2010 and 2012 Games.
Hain Celestial Canada, known for popular healthy foods such as Yves Veggie Cuisine, Terra Chips, Earth's Best baby food and Imagine organic soups is the Official Supplier of natural and organic packaged grocery products for the 2010 Winter Games.
Jackson-Triggs is a winery of Vincor Canada, Official Supplier of Wine for the 2010 Winter Games. Vincor has produced a special series of Esprit wines under its Jackson-Triggs label, with a portion of the proceeds going to Vancouver 2010 and the Canadian Olympic Team. Vincor wines will also feature prominently in Games-time hospitality plans. Other Vincor brands include Sumac Ridge, See Ya Later Ranch, Inniskillin, NkiMip and Naked Grape.
Molson is the Official Beer Supplier for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Saputo is the Official Supplier of packaged dairy products for the 2010 Winter Games. Its sponsorship includes support for the Canadian Olympic team for the 2008, 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games.
Weston Bakeries is the Official Supplier of Bread and Baked Goods for the 2010 Winter Games. Its sponsorship includes support for the Canadian Olympic teams for the 2008, 2010 and 2012 Games.
Wrigley Canada is freshening-up the 2010 Winter Games as the Official Supplier of Confectionary Products including these well known brands - Excel, Extra, Juicy Fruit, LifeSavers, Hubba Bubba, Doublemint and Freedent.
The planning for the Summer Olympics in London in 2012 are already well underway… in fact, they are exactly 892 days away as I write this Blog. They have already developed and produced the London 2012 Food Vision which outlines the requirements for supplying food products to those Games. They will be working intricately with the various organizations in their Country and will be focusing as much as possible on their local products. Of interest, just to give you a perspective on numbers, London 2012 recently posted on their website (www.london2012.com) that 9.2 million tickets will be on sale starting in 2011. A press release from them in December 2009 cited that over 14 million meals would be served. The London Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) will be responsible for feeding 15,000 athletes. To accomplish this, they have compiled one very large grocery list!
- 25,000 loaves of bread
- 232 tonnes of potatoes
- 82 tonnes of seafood
- 31 tonnes of poultry items
- 100 tonnes of meat
- 75,000 litres of milk
- 19 tonnes of eggs
- 21 tonnes of cheese
- 330 tonnes of fruit and vegetables
Last year, Suppliers attended tradeshows in an effort to raise awareness of some of the local Canadian products available for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. Olympic organizers forecasted over 3.7 million meals would be required during the activities! It stands to reason that Procurement and Training Sessions are essential to help those supplying to events such as this to ready themselves. These Workshops - which are now underway for the London Games - allow the Manufacturer or Grower to understand who the Organizations are, how Tenders are made, the requirements, the procurement route, the response time, compliances and qualifications and so forth.
There will always be opportunities to supply to special events - such as the Olympics this year. Canadian Growers and Manufacturers have an incredible array of products to showcase and we should be very proud of their efforts within our Country and beyond. And, just like the athletes - research, preparation, practice, attention to detail and commitment to succeed are all elements of success when it comes to supplying product here at home and globally!
Enjoy the opportunity to cheer on our Olympic Athletes! (And all of those in the Food Industry too!)
Go Canada Go!
Have a wonderful week!