Long before ‘organic’ became mainstream Ivor and Susie were pioneering organic cider and perry making from their home in Herefordshire. The decision to make organic cider was driven by their love for nature –they believed in looking after the countryside and working in harmony with nature.
Environmental consideration was placed firmly at the heart of the business by working with the countryside, its seasons, ways and principles.
39 years later the Soil Association organic values remain at the heart of our cider making. We nurture our orchards and over the years as new trees have been planted acting as sanctuaries for wildlife, the eco system has thrived; owls’ nest, bees buzz, and hedgehogs snuffle through the undergrowth.
Organic methods involve using lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers. Landscapes prosper as healthy soils are a major store of carbon, containing three times as much as the atmosphere and five times as much as forests. By managing and maintaining healthy habitats we support up to 50% more wildlife.
The orchards grow with minimum intervention from ourselves. Sheep graze and geese roam. We strip mow the orchards 1 or 2 times in the spring/summer as we like to keep the grass reasonably long away from the tree trunks to encourage pollinators and wildlife. We also have several beehives which are rotated around the orchards for pollination and supply honey for our Pembridge shop.
We hold three Soil Association certified organic licenses; 1 for our own orchards in Herefordshire, 1 for our family of growers, and 1 for our cidery in Gloucestershire where we press and bottle our ciders. We can trace every apple and pear that is delivered into us back to the organic orchard it was grown in so provenance and traceability are fundamentals of the Dunkertons Cider Co DNA.
Our commitment to organic principles means we also actively encourage others to convert to organic status. We are currently into the 3rd year of growing a perry orchard in partnership with Helen Browning Chief Executive of the Soil Association.
2018 saw us celebrate our 30th anniversary of being Soil Association certified as both a grower and a producer across our entire range – no other cider producer in the UK has our organic legacy.