Firms seek slice of 2012 food deals
Fifty 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.
The companies have registered their products and capabilities on the CompeteFor internet portal that will be one resource used by caterers and other suppliers providing food and drink products and services at the various venues.
Invest NI is now encouraging more companies to register before the end of October deadline.
Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI trade director, said: "This is an immensely encouraging response to the work that Invest NI has been undertaking to ensure that as many local companies as possible are positioned to bid for the contracts being placed by major catering organisations.
"The opportunities for food and drink companies are certainly substantial and will involve contracts in excess of £150 million being placed.
"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."