Known for our apple bursting ciders that are enjoyed by customers up and down the country, we invited the farmers who supply fruit to us to take a look behind the scenes at Myrtle Farm.
27 West Country apple growers joined Martin Thatcher, head cider maker Richard Johnson, and Farm Manager Chris Muntz-Torres to hear at first-hand how we continue to make waves within the cider market.
“We couldn’t make our ciders without the apples that our brilliant growers deliver to us at harvest each year. Our growers are all family run businesses just like ourselves, and share our passion and commitment to quality,” explains Martin.
“With our ciders enjoyed by customers up and down the country, particularly now as summer is upon us, we wanted to take the opportunity to share with our growers the vitally important role they all play in supplying us with great quality fruit at harvest time.”
Head cider maker Richard Johnson adds,
“Producing exciting styles of modern cider – whether all apple or flavoured – that meet people’s expectations of great taste can only be done when you start with the best quality apples of the particular varieties needed. We choose our varieties very carefully, helping us create the styles of cider people love.”
With the popularity of light, crisp ciders, we are growing more apples that are best suited to this style of drink, whilst also continuing to increase our orchards of bittersweet cider apples that are integral to traditional ciders.
Trialling new varieties in the orchards has played an important role in deciding which varieties to grow. Chris Muntz-Torres gave an insight to the growers into our continued investment into new varieties of apples for cider making and selecting the right apples to grow for new styles of cider.
One of our most recent trials sees over 3000 new trees of dessert varieties being evaluated for their potential suitability to cider making.
Richard continues, “Bringing our apple growers together is an important occasion when we share experiences and continue to learn from each other.”
Apple grower Ian Batchelor farms in mid Devon, in the heart of a traditional area for growing apples. He says:
“My father grew apples before me – so as a family we know the industry but having Thatchers support us all the way makes everything worthwhile.”
Philip Griffiths who farms in Herefordshire says,
“We gain so much from the close relationship we have with Thatchers. The annual Growers Day is a great place to share experiences, but most of all it gives us confidence that we’re supplying fruit to a cider maker that is committed to quality through and through.”
Robert Lane, who farms in South Somerset, says,
“We work closely with Thatchers to supply the apples they want, in the way they want them. Quality comes first every time. Attending the annual apple growers day at Myrtle Farm is a really beneficial experience. It’s full of useful information and inspires us when we hear how well cider sales are going. It’s always a motivation to really look after the apples and keep the quality high, as we know they’ll be going into a fantastic end product that people love.”