At a visit to Myrtle Farm for the Thatchers Cider annual Apple Growers Day, Gill and Richard Trace were presented with the Somerset cidermaker’s Grower of the Year award.
The award recognises the commitment to quality that the growers have demonstrated when supplying fruit to Thatchers for their ciders.
Gill and Richard have been growing apples for twenty years, and provide six varieties of bittersweet apples from their North Devon orchards to Thatchers, including Dabinett, Ashton Bitter and Ellis Bitter.
Gill says, “We have a shared philosophy with Thatchers – we take great care of the apples in our orchards, and they only use quality apples in their ciders, so we work well together. We work hard throughout the year to make sure we produce consistently high quality fruit.”
Fourth generation cidermaker Martin Thatcher, who presented Gill and Richard with their award, praised them for their commitment to go the extra mile. “They deliver consistently high quality fruit, perfectly ripe and to the agreed schedule. They share our commitment to produce the best they can.”
Welcoming 21 growers to Myrtle Farm, Martin Thatcher and quality manager Richard Johnson shared plans for the future and encouraged the growers’ involvement in driving standards upwards.
Martin says, “This day is always 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. We are happy to pay a premium for the right quality apples, so the growers profit through this mutually beneficial relationship.
“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.”
As well as a network of growers, Thatchers has over 400 acres of its own apple orchard in Somerset.
For further information, please contact:
Penny Adair, Tel: 0117 9040173