Nuclear plant will aim to feed workforce on local produce
PUBLISHED: 10:09 13 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:36 13 August 2020
A Suffolk business-farming alliance is hoping to match a local initiative in Somerset which has produced three million meals for workers at its new nuclear site to date.
The construction of Hinkley Point C – which is set to provide the blueprint for the planned Sizewell C plant – has been accompanied by a huge drive to feed workers through an award-winning scheme called Somerset Larder which was set up in 2015.
Sizewell C and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce are working with Suffolk Agricultural Association to try to replicate its success.
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They want to create a collaboration of ‘field to fork’ providers to feed the Suffolk workforce – which could number up to 7,900 people on the main site during construction.
On average, Somerset Larder provides Hinkley Point C with 8,000 sausages a day, 100,000 eggs a month and has served 200,000 full English breakfasts to the workforce in the last four years.
Steve Carroll, senior supply chain lead at Sizewell C, said he is determined to put local produce on the menu when construction starts.
“The evidence from Hinkley Point C is that people on site are enjoying good quality food and are keen to support local suppliers, which is not only cutting food miles but is also stimulating the south west economy,” he said.
“There is little reason for it to be any different at Sizewell C. With the amazing producers we have locally to Sizewell, this represents a major opportunity.”
As well as feeding the HPC workforce, Somerset Larder has developed into a sustainable business now supplying the finest west country produce across the world, opening new markets to smaller producers and investing in training and apprenticeships.
Suffolk Agricultural Association is supportive of the move to replicate that success at Sizewell.
“The Suffolk Agricultural Association is delighted to offer support to its members wishing to connect with this project,” said chief executive Phillip Ainsworth.
“The county boasts many excellent food and drink producers and this initiative will offer them an opportunity to link with a significant development for years to come.”
Gareth Davies, head of Sizewell C supply chain engagement at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said the aim was to make the most of local produce on the menus at Sizewell.
“For those producers uncertain whether they are big enough to have a seat at the table, I would encourage you to read the outstanding case study of Pyne’s of Somerset.
“Butcher Malcolm Pyne recognised early on that collaboration presented the best opportunity for his business to be involved at Hinkley and, having registered on the Hinkley Supply Chain Portal, pulled together a number of like-thinking producers to create the Somerset Larder joint venture.
“The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce’s aspiration is to replicate their vision in Suffolk ensuring that every mouthful of food eaten at Sizewell C comes from local producers.
“What is absolutely crucial is that companies are registered on our portal so we can match their capabilities to opportunities as they arise.”
National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Suffolk county adviser Charles Hesketh welcomed the ambition to put local food at the heart of the Sizewell C supply chain.
“From free-range pork and grass-reared beef and lamb to fresh vegetables, fruit, salad crops and eggs, our members can supply a wide range of local produce to help keep the workforce well fed.”
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