Games brings food for thought

Sporting event is a real chance to showcase the best of Scotland’s larder, writes Glasgow 2014’s Craig Lear

Games brings food for thought

THIS is set to be a landmark year for Scotland.

As the nation gears up to welcome the Commonwealth family and host one of the world’s largest sporting events, there has never been a better opportunity to showcase to an international audience what Scotland’s food and drink industry has to offer.
As with London 2012, great importance has been placed on the legacy of the XX Commonwealth Games and how Scotland will ultimately benefit from the significant investment that will set our stage for the global audience.
Whilst the events will undoubtedly provide a substantial economic boost for the food and drink industry, 2014 is also the ultimate ‘shop window’ to showcase the finest of regionally sourced, premium quality produce and products Scotland’s natural larder has to offer.
As a result, new benchmarks have been outlined in the Glasgow 2014 Food Charter, developed jointly by Scottish Government partners, Scotland Food & Drink, the Food Standards Agency Scotland and the wider food industry.
The legacy of the Food Charter will see it act as a blueprint for major sporting and cultural events held in Scotland, as well as the wider foodservice and licensed trade industry during 2014 and beyond.
Consumers, including athletes and the general public alike, want a commitment to sustainable, ethical, traceable and healthy-living standards for all food they are served and this is what has been achieved.

The event offers the ultimate shop window for Scottish produce.

By working with our public sector partners, we have developed a sustainable procurement policy for the purchase of goods and services that meets all these requirements, and more.
The provenance of food and how it has been produced, is also central to the Charter, which will establish Games-time food sourcing standards showcasing Scotland’s rich natural larder.
I have recognised that often we don’t appreciate what is right on our doorstep.
So, what we want to do is take pride and value in what we have right here in our own nation, illustrating what makes Scotland’s quality produce and natural larder different and sets us apart from the rest.
And so, once the last medal has been presented what we will have in place is a benchmark – principles and standards set out – which we believe can be used as a basis for a wider Food Charter, demonstrating a best practice that can be used by the whole industry including hotels, restaurants, bars and events across Scotland. This will present a great opportunity for Scottish food and drink businesses to supply good quality, healthy, authentic food and drink at a local, national and international level.
Overall, this will be a challenge for Glasgow 2014 and our caterers, but we are all on board to highlight the good of the Games and create a lasting legacy for Scotland’s food and drink service industry.
• Craig Lear is head of catering, cleaning and waste at Glasgow 2014.