Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex paid a visit to one of Somerset’s oldest cider-making firms to open a new, state of the art packaging and warehouse facility yesterday (9th June 2014).
Thatchers Cider, established in 1904, and now a fourth generation family company, welcomed the Royal Party to Myrtle Farm in Sandford, where the £3million Jubilee Building has been developed over the last twelve months to support the increased demand for its ciders in both the UK and overseas.
As well as seeing the firm’s new kegging line at first hand, The Royal Couple heard how the Jubilee Building has been built to meet the highest sustainability aspirations; they met members of staff, including the orcharding team and delivery drivers; and chatted to the firm’s cidermakers, and took a turn at pressing some apples.
In addition, company Chairman John Thatcher, together with his grandson, Peter, took a walk through the orchards with The Earl and Countess, and explained to them how a new state of the art harvester has been designed to protect the apples during harvesting to maintain quality.
After the tour, The Earl and Countess were introduced to Bini Ludlow and Tim Maddams, two West Country chefs who have been working with Thatchers on a special food pairing project.
The visit culminated in the unveiling of a plaque and the presentation of gifts.
Martin Thatcher, Managing Director of Thatchers Cider, says, “This has been a very exciting day for us all here at Myrtle Farm. To be able to show Their Royal Highnesses how we are responding to the demands of the market by expanding our packaging and warehousing facilities has been a proud moment.
“Our former kegging line was cramped and inefficient, so this new space allows the system to operate at full capacity – filling 450 kegs an hour with draught cider.
“Named in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee The Jubilee Building is spectacular, and will be a great asset to the development of Thatchers Cider and to the people who work here.”
“It was a real honour to be able to show Their Royal Highnesses around Myrtle Farm, and introduce them to three generations of the Thatcher family.”
For further information, contact:
Penny Adair, Tel: 0117 9040173