Aston Manor, the UK’s largest independent cider maker, welcomed Neil Parish, Tiverton and Honiton MP, to their production site in Tiverton. The cider maker gave the politician a guided tour of the facility that employees 90 local people and produces 85 million litres of cider each year.
Neil Parish was shown first-hand the significant investment at the site by Aston Manor’s managing director Gordon Johncox. The facility now boasts one of the UK’s only automated 5 litre mini-keg lines that enables Aston Manor to produce 200 units an hour. The kegs are filled and capped automatically, within a positive pressurise environment using HEPA filtered air, then rinsed with water and blow dried before being palletised. The continued investment in technology has propelled the Tiverton site to a standard that no other independent UK drinks producer can match.
The tour also divulged into the secrets behind Aston Manor’s success, which has seen them celebrate their most acclaimed year to date. In 2017, the cider maker achieved 29 awards for its products, innovation and manufacturing excellence, many of which are a direct result of the Tiverton team’s performance.
As a part of Neil’s visit, he spoke with Aston Manor about the consequences that the new duty band for cider will have on the business and the Tiverton facility. The cider maker gave Neil an insight into why the duty band inadvertently targets premium cider rather than solely focussing on white cider. They also explored how the vast majority of white cider drinkers on low incomes will be penalised for enjoying the drink responsibly.
Gordon said: "We’re proud to produce cider in Tiverton and be part of this community. To ensure that the local area thrives it’s imperative that businesses are prospering and creating employment opportunities for local people.”
“This was the first time that we have welcomed Neil to our Tiverton facility. An important reason why we invited him was to demonstrate our commitment to the local area and speak about the progress we are making. We wanted to show him our dedication to investment, quality products and developing careers for local people. All of this has accumulated in our most successful year in 2017.”
“However, this was also an opportunity to discuss the challenges that the cider industry is facing. Alongside the exciting progression and new products, there’s issues on the horizon, like the proposed duty band, that could have a detrimental impact to cider makers across the country. We look forward to Neil’s continued support of not only the cider industry, but also championing businesses in Tiverton.”
Neil commented: “It was great to see the extra investment at Aston Manor Cider meaning that there are more jobs, employment and growth in our local area. It is great to have an employer like Aston Manor Cider in my constituency and to see all the new innovative production technologies that have been introduced on site.”
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