Embracing the philosophy that quality cider starts in the orchard, we invited our apple growers to Myrtle Farm to meet the cidermakers and have a tour of the mill.
Whilst some of the group of growers have supplied us for many years, others are much newer, but they all share one thing, and that’s taking great care of their apples and meeting Thatchers expectations of quality.
Welcoming the growers to Myrtle Farm, Martin Thatcher and quality manager Richard Johnson shared plans for the future and encouraged the growers’ involvement in sharing the commitment to maintaining the highest standards. The group also had a chance to hear about Thatchers plans for growing its business.
Martin says, “This day is a great opportunity to get to know our growers better, and for them to get to know more about our cidermaking. Our key message to all our growers is that the cider market continues to be highly competitive, and that having the best quality apples of our chosen varieties is crucial to the ongoing growth of the company.
“As a cidermaker we like to use specific varieties of apple to create the characteristics we are looking for in our ciders. It’s important therefore that our growers really understand their apples, and have an appreciation of how that contributes to our cider.”
Thatchers has growers throughout the West Country, from Somerset and Devon, through to Herefordshire.
“Climate and soil – as well as the expertise of the grower – all play their part in producing top quality apples for cidermaking,” adds Richard Johnson. “Somerset naturally has a different climate to Herefordshire, so we would expect to see different apple varieties thrive in each region.
“We are really proud of the relationship we have with all our apple growers. Thanks to the close relationship we have with them, we are happy to pay a premium in what’s a highly competitive market. We test every delivery of apples that arrive at Myrtle Farm during harvest and reward our growers accordingly. Going that extra mile means that our growers know they are a part of our extended family producing fantastic, world class ciders.”
As well as our network of growers, we have over 500 acres of our own apple orchard in Somerset.