There are 678 days, or 96 Fridays, until the opening ceremony of London 2012 and, while we have done significant amounts of work in the past year, we have significant amounts of work still to do with our potential catering partners to ensure we leave nothing to chance and put on The Greatest Show on Earth.
It is also 678 days, or 96 Fridays, until the beginning of British Food Fortnight 2012, which I believe will contribute immeasurably to taking that show out across the whole of the country.
In 2012, British Food Fortnight will be moving to coincide with the games, which will really allow the whole country to showcase the vast array of fabulous food and produce we have on these shores, while the global spotlight is on us.
With only 678 days to go, like us, you really need to start planning how you are going to ensure we can all deliver the best British Food Fortnight ever, at a time of year that is different and may therefore need more thought than normal to showcase seasonal national, regional and local produce that doesn't normally get the chance to take part in this great event.
To ensure our potential catering partners are thinking about how we can embrace British Food Fortnight across the games, we have included the requirement in our tenders and they have some great ideas on how they are going to promote and deliver this aspect to all who attend.
Our vision is to show the diversity of food available within the United Kingdom to everyone who attends the games, to make sure that we deliver the best food of any games ever held.
But your opportunity is bigger. You can touch far more people than we can. While we will 'only' serve 14 million meals during the Olympics, you will have the chance to serve the many people buying food and drink to consume at home while watching the games on television, the crowds that will gather in pubs across the country, visitors who will be staying in hotels and the people at work who follow the games during their coffee breaks.
Everyone in the land will be watching the opening ceremony and sharing in the excitement of potentially winning so many medals. And what will link all these people apart, of course, from a love of sport? It will be the celebration of British food and drink through British Food Fortnight that will be delivered by thousands of retailers, landlords, hoteliers and caterers.
In order to maximise the opportunity, to drive sales, to ensure you have the right products at the right price, with the right marketing and the right supply chain, you need to start planning now.
We recently held a meet-the-buyer day at the Speciality Fine Food Show. Out of 200 exhibitors who met the criteria we were looking for and who applied to meet us, time constraints meant we could only meet 16 of them.
But they were a privilege to meet. Their products were stunning, their passion contagious and at the end of the day we were bowled over by the quality of the food we are producing in this country.
We need to show the world our diversity, quality and passion for food. We are planning already to ensure we can do our bit. With only 96 Fridays and counting, what are you doing?
Jan Matthews is head of catering on the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games