Vale heritage at heart of college juice rebrandPublished: Thursday, 10th September 2020
Pershore College has emerged from lockdown to mark two decades of creating award-winning apple juice and craft cider with a new look and two exciting artisan products that celebrate the traditions of cider making in Worcestershire.
Having started as a student juice-making project more than 20 years ago, the college enterprise, which is part of WCG, now produces 7,000 litres of craft cider annually and supplies more than 16,000 bottles of fresh-pressed fruit juice to retail and hospitality customers.
It also proudly supports small producers in the region with small-batch contract bottling services
To build on the success and reputation it has gained in this time, the college spent lockdown designing a new brand, Pershore Press, for the enterprise.
Under the stewardship of Development Manager, Richard Toft, Pershore Press was created to reflect the traditions of the college’s craft production methods, the heritage of horticulture in the Vale of Evesham, and its dedication to raising the profile of local produce.
With this in mind, is no surprise that Pershore Press was one of the first to get behind the ‘Make It Worcestershire’ campaign, a new initiative that encourages people to buy produce from local, Worcestershire suppliers.
Richard Toft said: “I want to see food and drink producers in the county doing well and want to make more people aware about their commitment to making high-quality local produce.
“Make It Worcestershire will help provide the platform for them and will encourage people to explore the riches that Worcestershire and its producers have to offer lovers of food and drink.”
To celebrate the Pershore Press makeover, two new ciders were launched in 2020.
Whilst Kent and East Anglia were perhaps better known for their use of dessert varieties in local cider making, the horticultural traditions of the Vale of Evesham, and the abundance of eating crops in the region resulted in an equally rich heritage to treasure and celebrate.
The Vale of Evesham Fine Cider has been pressed to showcase the very best of those traditions. It uses Discovery apples picked from the college's Avonbank Orchard and with no tannin, is a medium dry cider naturally lower in alcohol, with a light, clean body and finish.
The Premium Single Variety (S.V) Dabinett Keeved has been produced using the traditional method of keeving, a technique by which the fermentation is suppressed, to produce a slightly sweeter fine cider with a low alcohol content.
As a commercial enterprise of Pershore College, Pershore Press is also unique as a small producer as its profits contribute to the education delivered to students in Worcestershire and Warwickshire by WCG.
This is something that Richard and the team are very conscious of.
He said: “Over the years it has been so rewarding to see students come to Pershore College, learn here, and leave with the skills to then further their careers in the workplace. To know that we are contributing to their future and success is incredibly important to us.”
Richard Soper CBE, from One Worcestershire said: “It’s great to have an organisation like Pershore Press supporting our campaign to Make It Worcestershire.
“More than 4,500 people are employed in the manufacture of food products in Worcestershire.
“It is a really important sector of the county’s economy and Make It Worcestershire is giving our food and drinks industry a helping hand after difficult times.
“We love the fact that Pershore Press not only produces its product from ‘branch to bottle’ at the college, but it also helps educate the next generation.”
Bottles of the juice from the college now proudly carry the Make It Worcestershire seal of approval branded on the front of the bottle to highlight to customers that they are purchasing the best there is in the county and supporting a local enterprise.
Find out more about the Make It Worcestershire campaign which is aimed at celebrating our local produce and producers by visiting the One Worcestershire Website: oneworcestershire.com
Or, to find out more about Pershore Press and find stockists or information on its contract bottling services, you can visit www.pershorepress.com