Sizewell C aims to source 80% of workforce food from local area

By Nick Osbourne | Published on 10 July 2024 | 4 min read

Sizewell C has set a target of locally sourcing 80% of the food it provides to its site workforce – an ambition that would create significant opportunities for regional food producers and suppliers.

The new target would represent a substantial regional investment: at peak construction, there’ll be around 7,900 workers on site, and it’s estimated the cumulative food and product value will amount to just under £60 million over the 12-year construction period.

The announcement comes as Sizewell C outlines a series of catering commitments, which aim to put social and environmental benefits at the heart of all its catering activity, during both the construction and operation of the power station:

  • Locally sourced produce: a target of 80% of locally sourced food* to support local supply chains and initiatives, reduce food miles, and to ensure all produce adheres to established UK food standards.
  • Varied and affordable meals on site: to provide the Sizewell C team with healthy, inclusive, and affordable meals, which accommodate a wide variety of dietary requirements, from medical and health needs to cultural and religious preferences.
  • Socially and environmentally focused food waste policy: to engage with local food sharing schemes, charities, shelters and local foodbanks to minimise food waste and deliver local social benefits; to recycle through anaerobic digestion or composting, and avoid landfills unless absolutely necessary
  • Minimised Single-Use Plastics (SUPs): to eliminate, where possible, the use of SUPs in the catering supply chain.
  • Creation of a Central Preparation Kitchen (CPK): to ensure all food prep and distribution takes place at a single offsite local facility, which would offer local catering apprenticeships, reduce the number and distance of delivery journeys, better enable local sourcing, and minimise food waste by using sustainable technologies at the CPK.

Damian Leydon, Sizewell C Site Delivery Director, said: “Suffolk is well known for being a foodie county, and it’s a no-brainer for us to tap into and support local suppliers and local produce.

“We’ve made a long-term commitment to maximise the benefits of Sizewell C for East Suffolk and help build economic growth here – and this local supply target is another powerful way for us to achieve that. It represents a huge opportunity for food suppliers in this region.

“It’s an ambitious target, and we’ll always have to balance our local preference with the need to provide affordable meals for the team onsite – but we’ve got a clear plan in place and we’re looking forward to working with the many excellent suppliers and producers in the region to deliver quality catering for Sizewell C.”

To help achieve the new target, Sizewell C will source a range of products from regional growers, producers, and roasteries, which would include produce such as apples, pears, strawberries, carrots, potatoes, onions, eggs, bacon, sausages, pork, sugar, coffee, and bakery.

Catering produce would also meet best practice food standards, covering key certifications and schemes, such as British Lion Mark (eggs), Marine Stewardship Council (fish), and British Red Tractor (meat and poultry), and would include Fairtrade wherever possible.

These catering commitments reinforce one of Sizewell C key community pledges: to support the growth of the local economy. It’s estimated that at least £125m will be spent in the local community each year during the construction of the new nuclear power station.

Earlier this week, the Sizewell C Community Fund – a £23m fund available to eligible projects in the East Suffolk Council area – opened for applications. The fund was described by Melanie Craig, Chief Executive of Suffolk Community Foundation, which will manage the fund, as “an exciting opportunity” that has the potential “to make a real and lasting difference” to the region.

Since triggering its Development Consent Order in January of this year, the Sizewell C project has made significant progress and in May it secured the first Nuclear Site Licence in over a decade. The project is expected to achieve a Final Investment Decision this year.

* Local area is defined as within a 75-mile radius of the Sizewell C site.

Tagged with: Supply Chain
Posted by Nick Osbourne

Nick is Sizewell C's Media Relations Manager