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Servair to supply African army rations as air travel food market collapses

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Friday, 30 April 2021 15:50, updated on Tuesday, 4 May 2021 14:38

Members of the South African army outside the Rand Light Infantry Regiment Base in Craighall ParkMarch 23, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

French air catering company Servair is branching out into supplying rations to African armies in a bid to compensate for the collapse in air travel caused by Covid-19.

The company is currently discussing and testing military packs with armies, says Marc Vatel, Servair vice-president for Africa. He expects the product, which will be supplied to armies in active combat, to be available by the end of 2021.

The technology employed is adapted from one used to supply meals to astronauts on the Alpha space mission to International Space Station under an agreement with the European Space Agency. Vatel hopes the company’s reputation for precision in supply can be transferred to new military terrain.

Traceability and sanitation standards for food sold in Africa are “as high as in France,” he says. “You can’t poison a pilot or a soldier who is carrying arms… We can send rations anywhere in Africa.”