The Paris Olympics menu: more French, more local, less meat

Alexandre Bompard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of French retailer Carrefour, and Tony Estanguet, President of the Organising Committee of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, pose with herbs and vegetables during a visit at the Vaulerand potato farm as French supermarket giant and Paris 2024 sponsor Carrefour presents its strategy to provide fresh products for athletes during the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, in Villeron, near Paris, France, April 18, 2024. REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq

PARIS (Reuters) -Athletes at this year's Olympics will be eating fresh produce mostly made in France, with a focus on local and organic products and more vegetarian options.

French supermarket giant Carrefour, the official provider of fresh produce to athletes at the Olympic Village, hosted on Thursday a visit to a farm in Villeron, north of Paris, one of its suppliers for the Games.

Lionel Plasmans, who owns the farm, said it was an honour to be providing potatoes to the Olympics.

"I love sport and I'm going to the Olympic Games at the Stade de France on August 4, for athletics. I really like athletics, and seeing the athletes who are going to eat my potatoes running, I think that's cool," Plasmans said.

Using the more than 600 tonnes of fresh produce provided by Carrefour, catering firm Sodexo will be in charge of providing an estimated 40,000 meals a day to 15,000 athletes in the Olympic Village.

Under the Paris 2024 "Food Vision", a quarter of the food supplied to athletes must be produced less than 250 kilometres from the place of competition, to reduce carbon emissions from transporting fresh produce. French produce is also prioritised, with a goal of 80% of the food provided being made in France.

"Whether we are on site in Marseille or on site in Ile-de-France, each time, we integrate more local products, because we want to combine eating well, this pleasure of catering, with this challenge of reducing our carbon footprint," said Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris 2024 organising committee.

This year's Games also aims to cut the amount of animal products provided at the event overall by half compared with 2021, and include a balanced vegetarian menu in all catering options.

At least 60% of the meals offered for sale to spectators will be vegetarian, according to the Food Vision, except for stadiums hosting football events, where the target is 40% vegetarian.

(Reporting by Louise Dalmasso and Clotaire Achi, Writing by Helen ReidEditing by Christian Radnedge)

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