The opportunity for Somerset food and drink businesses wanting a piece of the Hinkley pie has just got bigger!
We’ve had a busy few months ‘behind the scenes’ and as a result Somerset Larder is now a private limited company with agreed company objectives, memorandum and articles of association, and all the other trimmings.
This means that Somerset’s food and drink businesses are now ready and well-placed to compete for major projects such as the anticipated £80million spend on food and drink during the construction of Hinkley Point C.
Under the Somerset Larder umbrella, we will be bidding for the supply of the main catering operations at Hinkley Point C as well as catering opportunities in the three accommodation campuses. Aside from Hinkley Point C, additional opportunities are already on the cards – but more about that later…
The aim of Somerset Larder is to bring together the best Somerset produce and expertise, ‘gathered locally and enjoyed globally’. Companies of all shapes and sizes from across the county are welcome to be part of the Somerset Larder and you can find out more below about how to get involved.
We hope this newsletter will whet your appetite for the vast opportunities available and look forward to hearing from you if you’re ready to step up to the plate and be part of the Somerset Larder.
Meet the Board
The Somerset Larder Board consists of seven directors, each with proven experience in the food and drink industry, combined with a passion and determination to make Somerset Larder succeed.
Each director has been allocated an area of responsibility and these are outlined below, to help you identify the person taking the lead in your sector.
|Bakery:||Richard Mortimer (Mortimers Bakery)|
|Butchers:||Malcolm Pyne (Pyne’s of Somerset)|
|Dairy/Eggs:||John Cottrell (Gundenham Dairy)|
|Drinks:||Paul Marsh (Miles Tea & Coffee)|
|Greengrocery:||Mark Druitt (Cossey Produce)|
|Meal makers/Caterers:||Vince Pearson (Taylor Shaw)|
|Wholesale goods/Training providers:||Greg Parsons (Cricketer Farm)|
If you’re still not sure who to speak to, feel free to contact any of us in the first instance and we’ll point you in the right direction.
Step up to the plate – how you can get involved
This unique start-up opportunity is open to all Somerset-based food and drink businesses, no matter how big or small. ‘Relentless supply’ is an essential part of the offering so from our perspective, all businesses that can demonstrate they have, or are incorporating, the necessary processes and procedures to meet the high demands expected of us are encouraged to join.
For businesses wanting to be part of this exciting project, Somerset Larder membership is now available. As well as becoming part of the initiative and benefitting from the commercial opportunities this brings, we will also provide support to help you develop as a business and meet the quality standards required to be part of the Hinkley Point C project.
Somerset Larder is a not-for-profit organisation but there are of course legal, administrative and other costs involved so businesses are being asked to contribute a membership fee of £500 in the first year to become part of the initiative, plus a small percentage of payments received through the project to help cover the costs of running the company. The fee for subsequent years is yet to be confirmed as we’re still very much in the early stages but we can assure you that costs will be kept as low as possible, while the benefits of membership will grow and grow over time. Just have a look at some of the opportunities we’ve already uncovered in a few short months…
Opportunities already unfolding for Somerset Larder
The Hinkley Point C development is the opportunity that brought us together and inspired us to find a county-wide solution that had the potential to work for all Somerset food and drink businesses.
However, in the short time we’ve been working together, a number of other exciting opportunities have arisen, so we thought we’d share a few of these with you to give you a taste of what the future has in store for Somerset Larder.
Somerset Larder member Windsor Catering in Bridgwater has an early stage contract with EDF Energy for Hinkley Point C so is already supplying sandwiches and snacks to the Hinkley site. The company has pledged to change its existing systems and source products locally through Somerset Larder, which means that Somerset Larder will be engaging with the Hinkley site with immediate effect.
Board member Taylor Shaw won the contract to supply Somerset-produced food and drink to the new police headquarters in Bridgwater from April (last month), as well as to the three new police stations that are being built in Bristol. Taylor Shaw has committed to sourcing its goods through Somerset Larder. On account of the police stations in Bristol, this means we already have our first contract to supply Somerset produce outside the county.
Other exciting opportunities:
This year, government policy on providing school meals is changing and there may be scope to expand Somerset Larder into the supply of lunches.
Industry training programme:
Somerset Larder has identified there may be a shortage of trained and skilled personnel in the food and drink industry to meet the additional demands placed upon it. In conjunction with Bridgwater College, an eight week traineeship programme is being trialled as a precursor to a full apprenticeship. Young people aged 16-19 can use the opportunity to involve with the industry and obtain a better understanding before committing to a full apprenticeship programme. Board members have identified eight placements to be trialled this summer.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are tremendous opportunities on offer for Somerset Larder, with our ability to deliver high quality produce and relentless, resilient supply across all commodities. The future is bright so if you want to be part of this exciting project, now is the time!
As a company, Somerset Larder has worked closely with EDF Energy to fully understand the scope and requirement of the project. We have submitted an abridged version of a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). If our submission on analysis by EDF meets their expectation, we will be asked to submit a much more detailed one. The process is then to be Invited To Tender (ITT), which in itself is an enormous amount of work.
You are now formally invited to apply for membership of Somerset Larder by returning the enclosed application form to Somerset Larder, c/o Somerset Chamber of Commerce.
If you have any questions about Somerset Larder or would like to find out more about joining us, please contact the relevant Board Member.
We look forward to sharing this enormous opportunity with you!
Chairman, Somerset Larder
You can download a PDF version of this newsletter here