The Royal Bath and West Society has awarded its Special Award for Outstanding Services to the Cider Industry to our very own fourth generation cider maker, Martin Thatcher.
The presentation took place at the 2022 Royal Bath and West Show last week, with Anthony Gibson, Chair of the Orchards and Cider section, presenting Martin with the award.
The Royal Bath and West encourages the arts, agriculture, manufacture and commerce through its diverse, year-round activities, culminating in the annual Royal Bath and West Show, where the British Cider Championships are hosted.
About the Award, Alan Stone, Chief Steward at Orchards and Cider at the Royal Bath and West Show said,
“Martin Thatcher has not only transformed his family business, so that Thatchers’ products are now available in virtually every supermarket in the land, but he has been a great ambassador for the cider industry as a whole.
“Innovation has always been key to Martin’s success.
“Product, packaging and marketing all had Martin’s business brain applied to them. Thatchers Gold became brand leading exploiting the potential for a convenient, high profile but still quality product that is now so well known. He was also one of the first to invest in single variety ciders, with Katy, a cider made from a dessert apple, becoming a best seller.
“Under Martin’s leadership, Thatchers have managed to tread a fine line between commercialism and tradition. He has done that by remaining true to the apple, overseeing the planning and management of many new orchards, growing apples to a high standard, and development new varieties of apples.
“Through their sponsorship and advertising, Thatchers have not only made their products household names, but have also put cider as a product back on the consumer’s map, to the benefit of everyone in the industry.”
Martin says he was taken by surprise with the award. “It’s a great honour to receive this, and I’d like to thank the members of the Bath and West for nominating me. The cider making community has so much to offer, not just through the fantastic ciders it produces, but with the role it plays within the rural community. The industry is a special one, we have to look after it, and it’s been a privilege to represent not just Thatchers, but the wider industry for the last 35 years.”