Westons Cider announces £2 million investment
Westons Cider has announced significant expansion plans for its mill in Much Marcle, Herefordshire in an effort to keep up with demand.
The installation of new presses is due to commence this May, and this will result in a 30% increase in production. The company produces (among others): Henry Westons, Stowford Press, Old Rosie and Westons Label.
The new presses will also be powered by renewable energy and are a fifth more efficient than the presses currently used at the site. Westons, which celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2020, is committed to reducing Carbon emissions by 46% by 2030. Last year, Westons also invested £3 million in a new canning line.
Production manager Giles Goodwin said: “Our world-renowned ciders are currently experiencing huge growth and this investment will mean we can fulfil increasing demand while protecting the rural environment and its thriving economy.”
Not only will we reduce our own on-site emissions, but we’ll be able to support more growers across Herefordshire and the neighbouring counties of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire,” Goodwin continued. “What’s more, by expanding our capacity, we’ll be able to take more fruit from established orchards, helping to prevent trees being grubbed up and preserving nature throughout the region.”
A spokesperson for Westons told db about what’s next: “Westons are not stopping at the press project. They are also currently running feasibility studies on CO2 recovery from their fermentation tanks. If they succeed, it will mean they can capture CO2 that would otherwise have been released into the atmosphere, but can now be used in the carbonation process of their ciders.”
According to the 2022 Westons Cider Report, the off-trade cider market was worth £1.2 billion in 2021, an 11.9% year-on-year drop. But, while this might not make for particularly optimistic reading, the cost of living crisis does present an opportunity, though the report was published before it became such a pertinent issue. The report noted that “cider is one of those categories that could be seen as an affordable treat, so we could even see shoppers trading up and buying premium products to offset having to cut their budget in other areas”.