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Thatchers receives CSR award from Wetherspoon

Thatchers Cider’s emphasis on sustainability has been recognised with the presentation of an award by J D Wetherspoon.
Its innovations in orchard management, the installation of a biomass boiler, and the creation of lighter weight glass bottles, are just some of the activities that J D Wetherspoon highlighted when presenting Thatchers with its CSR Supplier of the Year trophy.
Neil Day (pictured), Thatchers operations director who has been guiding the installation of the new biomass boiler this spring, said: “This award something we’re really proud to receive, as we’ve been working hard across all areas of our business to make sure we’re doing the right thing, from the work in our orchards, reducing our energy consumption, and our support of activities within our local community.
“To be recognised as the most ethical and trusted supplier amongst the hundreds of companies that work with J D Wetherspoon is a real vote of confidence for what we are trying to achieve.”
The biomass boiler was installed at the end of April and runs on wood pruned from our orchards, as well as the sustainable crop miscanthus, to provide heating for our offices.
Running alongside the biomass boiler is a new water borehole, which is 63 metres deep and pumps groundwater up to the surface. Thatchers will be using this water for the biomass boiler, rinsing kegs and washing lorries.
Miscanthus is a very thirsty crop, and so Thatchers makes good use of the excess water it uses in the cider mill – when washing the apples for example - to feed it. This waste water is firstly cleaned through a system of five lakes before being piped onto the miscanthus, which can grow up to 16ft high.
“This is recycling at its best,” adds MD Martin Thatcher. “Our water feeds the miscanthus, we use the miscanthus for energy, energy powers the mill, mill uses water, water feeds the crops…..and so on.”
Meanwhile out in the orchards, Thatchers is working with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to make the orchards even more bumblebee friendly, and takes care to maintain its orchards in a way that protects the habitats of other wildlife.
Martin Thatcher concluded: “We’ve been living and working in Sandford for over 100 years, so being a part of the local community is essential to who we are.  We have installed a defibrillator in our car park for community use if needed, we look to support local charities and organisations as much as possible, and we have Open Days where our neighbours are invited to look around the mill, orchards, and have a great day out.”
Thatchers supplies its bottled and draught ciders to JD Wetherspoon outlets throughout the UK.

Pictured: Neil Day, Thatchers operations director, with the JD Wetherspoon trophy

4 July 2013 - Felicity Murray