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Leading Cider Maker Steps Down

THE founder of Cornish Orchards and one of the best-known characters in UK cider making, has retired from his role as managing director of the company he founded.
Andy Atkinson hands the reins over to Helston-born Patrick Gardner, who is the current general manager and who has worked at the south east Cornwall cider farm since 2014.
Andy said: “The transformation of food and drink within Cornwall during the past 20 years has been astounding and I’m so pleased to have played a part in the evolution with Cornish Orchards becoming established as a premium Cornish brand and a great place to work.
Andy arrived at the farm in 1992 with his herd of dairy cattle.
Drawing motivation from Cornwall Council’s project to save Cornwall’s heritage apple varieties and maintain traditional landscape and wildlife, he planted three orchards on the farm. Enthused by the success of his trees and the crop they produced, Andy started juicing and blending Cornish apple juice, which quickly sold out at the local farmers’ markets. This gave him the confidence and encouragement to diversify from dairy farming to cider making and, in 1999, Cornish Orchards was founded.
The business grew – with its delicious flavours and distinctive branding. In 2013, Andy teamed up with Fuller’s, a family brewing company with the financial backing and distribution to take Cornish Orchards to a wider landscape, while keeping the actual business firmly rooted in Cornwall and Andy stayed on at the farm to oversee the growth that came from this union.
He added: “As Chairman of South West of England Cidermakers Association, I will stay involved within the industry. I’m delighted that I’ll continue to be involved in an ambassadorial role and to help and mentor Patrick, who was born and bred in Helston, as he takes Cornish Orchards to the next level.

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