Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland companies in running to feed athletes

A TOTAL of 50 Northern Ireland companies are hoping to take a bite out of the lucrative food and drink market at the Olympics.

They are in the running for £150 million of contracts to provide sustenance and refreshment for London 2012 athletes, officials and spectators. It is estimated that 14 million meals will be needed for 16,500 athletes, 4,000 officials, 20,600 international broadcasters and journalists, and nine million ticket holders, across 40 locations at next year's Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A further five million meals are likely to be required at rowing and sailing locations.

The 50 Northern Ireland food and drink companies responded to an Invest Northern Ireland drive to encourage and help the industry to bid for London 2012 contracts.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI trade director, said: "Invest NI cannot influence the tender process or the decisions made by Olympic catering contractors, however we are working to highlight the opportunities and offer practical support to Northern Ireland companies so they can compete strongly for contracts and submit effective tenders."