Thatchers has said the latest stage in its journey towards net zero involves an £11m investment at its Myrtle Farm home in Somerset.

The cider maker is upgrading facilities as it looks to become more “sustainable and energy efficient”,  as well as future proof production in the wake of external headwinds such as Covid-19.

Martin Thatcher, fourth generation cider maker, told Drinks Retailing that the family’s wish is to have a home for cider making that is “visually attractive, enhances the local village environment, is sustainably built, and energy efficient to run”. 

“Our focus on keeping our cider making and packaging processes under one roof at Myrtle Farm means we are able to guarantee the quality of our ciders,” he said. “Furthermore, it puts us in a position to respond quickly and positively to outside influences, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, and before that the C02 shortage.”

The company said that the current phase of investment enhances previous stages of development, including a packaging hall, home for a new mill, an energy centre, new apple intake system, warehouse and offices.

As well as solar panels, other initiatives include investment in renewables, reduction of energy and water consumption, and reducing the need for plastics and packing materials throughout the production process and supply chain. 

“Being at the heart of our local community has a strong influence on our development,” added Thatcher. “The new warehouse currently being built will enable us to facilitate all transport loading and unloading under cover with internal loading bays, thus reducing external noise levels.  We are also working hard to minimise our road miles through efficient use of transport journeys. To help even more, we’re building a covered bridge linking our packaging hall with the new warehouse, meaning fewer external forklift journeys.”