Fletchers Cider - We are a family run craft cider producer located in the heart of the Worcestershire countryside. Having farmed here for so many years we have a strong connection with the land and we do everything we can to keep it thriving. We do not use chemicals on our trees and we’ve planted traditional orchards that are a haven for wildlife. We keep sheep in the orchards, we’ve planted native species hedgerows and we have bee hives to help with pollination.
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Behind the Scenes with David France of Fletchers Cider
2020 had a big impact on everyone, what was its initial impact on you?
We had lots of plans laid out over the whole year with fairs, festivals and events all booked to attend. These are important selling and promotional opportunities for us and those plans were all put awry.
Have there been any positive things happening?
We were thrilled to hear we had won more Awards from the Guild of Fine Foods, 3 stars for our 1802 Vintage and 2 stars for our Medium Sweet to go with the 3 stars for Red Oak and 2 stars for our Medium Dry which we already held. That’s a real endorsement for our product and we received some interesting enquiries on the back of these.
We’ve also recently had 2 days filming at the farm and at Local to Ludlow Market for the BBC’s Farmers Country Showdown which will be shown in the new year.
What have you been doing in the meantime to maintain business?
That’s not been easy as so many of our outlets such as pubs and restaurants haven’t been able to trade in the same way. We have been working hard with several of our customers though to see how we can work together to support them through this, and we’re adding new stockists as our reputation grows.
It is a challenge to sell direct to customers at the moment, though it’s really great to be back on the Local2Ludlow market
How do you see things panning out?
It’s difficult to know exactly how this will play out over time. We’ve been very busy pressing but with 2 years lead time for our products, it really makes planning ahead very challenging.
We are lucky in one sense in that we are part of a family farm with a history going back over 200 years and a 400 year association with Ludlow so that gives us a certain amount of stability and continuity.
For the immediate future I’m looking forward to a different pace for 3 months from January. I use this time to tackle the pruning and various repair works that need doing. It’s time to refocus myself. But it’s the passion for what we do, the quality of it and seeing the sparkle and joy when someone tastes our product that drives me on and makes it worthwhile!
What does it mean for you being a Slow Food Business Supporter?
It’s very important for us as it matches our values and the way we care for our land and develop our product so perfectly. We can’t wait for life to return to some form of normality and would love to host a visit for Slow Food members to give them a tour round, perhaps in the spring to coincide with the apple blossom? That would be fun!