Healthy Scottish produce on the menu for athletes and fans at Glasgow 2018 European Championships

The Big Launch: Glasgow's Lord Provost Eva Bolander (Left), Guy's Restaurant owner Guy Cowan (Centre) and Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing (Right) at Charter launch

The very best of Scottish food and drink cuisine will be on the menu for athletes, officials and fans to try during the Glasgow 2018 European Championships - a brand new multi-sport event arriving in Scotland next year.

The Glasgow 2018 Food Charter was officially launched this morning by Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, and the Lord Provost of Glasgow Eva Bolander at Guy's Restaurant in Glasgow’s Merchant City.

This Glasgow 2018 Food Charter aims to build on the success of the Glasgow 2014 Food Charter and Scotland’s Food Charter for Events, particularly through the sustainability of the food provided at the European Championships. Glasgow 2018 also aims to promote healthy living via the provision of a variety of food, including healthier options.

Read the Food Charter in full HERE

Around 8,500 people are expected to visit the country for the Championships, which will combine the existing European Championships for Aquatics, Cycling, Gymnastics, Rowing and Triathlon - along with a brand new European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles - to create 11 days of exhilarating sporting action.

A vibrant cultural programme will also run alongside and will see Glasgow and partner Local Authorities come to life with a celebration of Scottish theatre, dance, music, digital, comedy and visual arts.

With all eyes on Scotland, organisers have vowed to showcase the country's thriving food and drink market to spectators and visitors - with an emphasis on healthy and responsibly sourced local produce.

Companies providing food to visitors, athletes and officials at Glasgow 2018 will be asked to meet a set of key criteria which includes the need to provide value for money, ensure healthy options are available and make sure all food is ethically sourced, authentic and traceable.

Scotland's booming artisan coffee and craft beer markets will also receive promotion, allowing visitors from Europe and the rest of the UK the chance to taste some of the country’s emerging food and drink markets.

Speaking at the launch, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing said: “The 2018 European Championships provides Scotland with an exceptional opportunity to build on the success of hosting major events such as the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup over recent years and will help us to further enhance our reputation as a world class venue for international sporting events.

“This is also a tremendous opportunity to showcase the best of our food and drink offerings to the many athletes and other visitors coming for the Championships. Not only does the Charter highlight the fantastic food provenance we have in Scotland, it values food in the right way expressing it in terms of authenticity, quality, health and care for the environment.”

Glasgow’s Lord Provost Eva Bolander said: “I’m delighted people visiting Glasgow for next year’s European Championships can look forward to enjoying our very best cuisine. Glasgow is proud to be home to some of the world’s most innovative and progressive restaurants and food companies.

“It’s exciting and a great source of pride that we can promise Glasgow 2018 fans, athletes and officials excellent and ethically sourced food and drink during their stay.”

James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said: "Scotland's reputation as a Land of Food and Drink is world renowned, so it's quite right that a world-class event like Glasgow 2018 will showcase responsibly sourced local Scottish produce.

"We know that visitors to Scotland, and those who live and work here, want to experience the very best of Scotland's natural larder, so the launch of the Food Charter is a really important step. Major events bring huge benefit to Scotland's economy and communities and this Charter can only extend that impact further."

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