London’s first urban Cidery, Hawkes, has wrapped up its annual Apple Donor drive this autumn, which has resulted in an astonishing 13 tonnes, or more than a double-decker busload of apples, from going to waste.
Apples are said to be the UK’s most wasted fruit. Hawkes’s annual Apple Donor drive is a proactive campaign that seeks to address this. The Hawkes campaign sees vast amounts of apples being donated (which would usually go to waste) being turned into delicious, planet-friendly cider.
Hawkes established collection hubs that were dotted around the Capital and an additional one in Gloucestershire at the Forest Green Rovers New Lawn Stadium. Donors from London, the South East, and the South West delivered surplus stock from orchards, gardens and fruit bowls, whilst donors from further afield sent apples via post to the Hawkes Taproom.
Over eight tonnes of apples were donated by charity partner, The Orchard Project, dedicated solely to the creation or restoration of community orchards in cities across the UK.
Two thousand twenty-two marks a record year of apple donations for sustainable cidermaker Hawkes, having smashed its 12-tonne target in just shy of seven weeks.
The apple varieties included: Newton Wonder, Bramley Seedling, Summelow’s Seedling, Blenheim Orange, Laxton Superb, Cox, Cox Pamona, Tyddesman Early Worcester, Worcester Pearmain, Spartan, Joy bells, Arthur W Barnes, Jonagold, Discovery, Peasgood Nonsuch, Sturmer Pippin and King of the Pippins. The donations to this year’s drive translated into nearly 20,000 pints of cider, whilst any leftover apple pomace will be sent to a bio-digester to be turned into green energy.
The Cidery will also be creating a limited edition cider made purely from London apples collected during the campaign. “This Is London” cider will be available at the Hawkes Taproom for a limited period from next spring.
“We’re so pleased with the volume of donations this year,” says Hawkes’s general manager, Elliot Allison.
“The idea for the campaign came years ago when we used to produce ginger beer. Residents who lived in the local area thought we were making cider and would leave crates of unwanted apples at our door.
“Inspired, we transitioned to cidermaking but wanted to stay engaged and in touch with the community. Taking impromptu apple donations to the extreme, we decided to expand the initiative and reach out further, calling on donors to redirect apples from far and wide.
“We realised, especially during the pandemic, that community action and togetherness are so important. And, although niche, we wanted to connect in a way that plays into our expertise. Every year, more and more people take an interest in that niche, which is heart-warming to see.
“Organising and mobilising the local community to collectively help tackle the national food waste and food shortage issue demonstrates the impact communities can have on a wider scale. Multiple drops in the ocean create a splash, so as long as we’ve made some impact, we’re happy.”
Anyone who donated apples through September and October will receive a pint of cider for every 3kg donated, and as a thank you to all donors, Hawkes will host an Apple Donors wrap party on 24th November, where donors will taste their very own apples turned into cider!
For more information on Hawkes, its ciders, or the Apple Donor drive, please visit www.wearehawkes.com.
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