The UK’s leading authentic cider maker, Westons Cider, has announced details of a £2 million investment to enhance its fruit pressing capacity, while using the latest technology to reduce overall energy consumption, as part of the producer’s mission to reduce its carbon footprint.

The significant investment will see two state-of-the-art cider presses installed at the Much Marcle site, enabling the cider maker to keep pace with demand following a record year in which Westons Cider became the UK’s fastest growing cider producer.

Running entirely off renewable energy sources and 20% more efficient than the current on-site presses, the new technology represents a significant step towards the company’s target of reducing its carbon emissions by 46% by 2030.

The installation of the new presses, set to begin in May, will enable Westons Cider to press around 30% more fruit in the coming harvest when compared to the 2022 season.

“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,” explains Giles Goodwin, Production Manager at Westons Cider.

“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. 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.

“As a business we’re committed to working towards a more sustainable future. We recently celebrated our 140th anniversary and it’s our ambition to be here in another 140 years working gently with the countryside.”

The project is the latest in a long line of measures introduced by Westons Cider to reduce the business’s carbon output. Last year, the company invested in a £3 million canning line to improve its recyclable packaging capabilities and reduce the need to transport cider elsewhere.

The cider maker also sends its pomace, left behind during the pressing process, to a local anaerobic digestor where it’s converted into food grade CO2 used to carbonate its much-loved ciders including Henry Westons and Stowford Press. The programme removes the need for CO2 to be delivered from further afield and 10,000 road miles from within its supply chain.

Westons Cider is one of the five largest manufacturing businesses in Herefordshire by revenue and employs more than 270 people. The Cider Mill has a Scrumpy House restaurant and conducts tours daily.

Run by the fourth generation of the Weston family, Westons Cider also produces Old Rosie, Rosie’s Pig and distributes Veltins German Pilsener in the UK.