Westons Cider announces £2m investment in new presses

UK cider maker, Westons Cider, has announced details of a £2 million investment to enhance its fruit pressing capacity.

Using the latest technology to reduce overall energy consumption, the investment comes as part of the producer’s mission to reduce its carbon footprint.

Giles Goodwin, production manager at Westons Cider, said: “Our ciders are currently experiencing huge growth, with more than one bottle of our Henry Westons Vintage now sold every second in the UK. This investment will mean we can fulfil increasing demand while protecting the rural environment. 

“Not only will we reduce our own on-site emissions, but we’ll be able to support more growers across Herefordshire and neighbouring counties. 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,” adds Goodwin.

The investment will see two state-of-the-art cider presses installed at its Herefordshire mill and will enable Westons Cider to press around 30% more fruit in the coming harvest than the 2022 season.

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

Last year, the company invested in a £3 million canning line to improve its recyclable packaging capabilities. 

The company also sends pomace, left over from the pressing process, to a local anaerobic digester where it’s converted into food-grade CO2 used to carbonate its 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.

“We’re not stopping there,” adds Darryl Hinksman, head of business development at Westons Cider. “We are currently running feasibility studies on CO2 recovery from our fermentation tanks. If we succeed, we’ll be able to capture CO2 that would otherwise have been released into the atmosphere, and repurpose this to carbonate our ciders.”