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Aston Manor Cider has taken a bold approach to enhancing its working relationships with key suppliers starting with a dedicated conference this month.

Over 90 businesses, representing over £50m in annual spend to Aston Manor, were invited to an event near Birmingham to signal the intention of the business to become closer to suppliers, fostering a more business partner relationship.

Gordon Johncox, managing director, at Aston Manor Cider said: “The businesses we work with are vital to our success, supporting as they do every area of our operations.

“We wanted them to know this and also to understand what we expect of them and what they can expect of us. Any occasion in the future when we are being a demanding customer, they should know why and, we hope, appreciate why it is important that they deliver on their promises to us.

“We shared with them clearly and quite candidly the commercial environment we operate in, the progress we are making and our future plans – plans we are very excited about.

“We believe this work is really important for us, and them.

“We will now redouble our efforts to see how we can work even smarter for our mutual benefit – and we want them to be sufficiently motivated and confident to challenge us when that is appropriate and to want to bring us the innovation that is possible when we are open to close collaboration.”

With a broad product portfolio of over 200 products covering every occasion and every consumer, Aston Manor Cider is a business of scale that has an agility and flexibility to support a range of different customers. It is why the business is the leading producer of bespoke exclusive and own-label ciders.

The informative event also provided suppliers with an update on the current performance of the business, recent successes and investment plans.

Gordon Johncox added: “In recent years we have invested heavily to increase our capacity and capability. This has enabled us to add to our award-winning portfolio and to support our future growth.

“Engaging with our partners and suppliers in this way should mean they understand our confidence about the future. We want them to see Aston Manor Cider as a very good business to work with.

“We invest significant sums with them and we simply will not deliver on our ambitions without them, so their involvement and commitment is enormously important to us.

“We know from feedback that the event was a great success. Our view is that this was the start of the process and for the launch to be so well received is very encouraging.”

The guests also got to hear about Aston’s Manor partnership with the Rugby Football League (RFL) and Kingstone Press’ involvement with both the England national team and all league clubs, from the elite to the grassroots of the sport.

Speaking at the conference was Ralph Rimmer, chief operating officer at the RFL and star guest, former rugby league international, Kevin Sinfield. The two RFL speakers celebrated the great synergy between Aston Manor’s flagship cider Kingstone Press and rugby league and shared their excitement for the forthcoming Four Nations tournament.

Gordon added: “With the help of our friends from the RFL, the atmosphere at the event was informal and entertaining – and of course our cider makers were on hand to host cider tastings!”  


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