A few months ago, Hill Farm Juice wrote a letter to say that they are no longer able to stay in business.  The price of apples has not risen in the 23 years that they have been in business, while the price of electricity, glass, packaging, distribution and labour has never been higher.  It’s extremely sad to lose one of our great local producers, and serves to highlight the incredible effort and challenges that our other producers face.

It’s easy to argue that this is how business works, but it’s worth emphasizing the benefits of supporting local food and drink producers.  Independent and Farm shops like ours are able to support small producers and help them to get up and running.  Some of these businesses start off as hobbies or a part-time job, and they rely on us to take small quantities and build up a customer base.  We try and help with pricing, packaging and marketing as they get established, offering feedback from customers.

The advantage for our customers is getting diverse products that can’t be found elsewhere while supporting small, rural businesses and helping drive the local economy.  In the case of Hill Farm Juice,  their customers were supporting an orchard in the South Downs where the apples were hand-picked, with orchards being biodiversity hotspots supporting a range of insects, birds and mammals.  When you drink local fruit juice or cider, you are safeguarding a small wildlife refuge.

So, we’d like to highlight our other local drinks suppliers:

Blackmoor Orchards – producing a delicious range of Ciders and Perry alongside apples and pears when in season, and we are looking forward to cherry season shortly.

Folkington’s Authentic Juices – based in East Sussex, they use English fruit for their apple, pear, berry & elderflower.

Yarty Cordials – Jane creates the cordials using her Grandmothers,  Mabel’s recipes and locally sourced fruit.

Hartridges – based in Waterlooville, this 140-year-old family-run business is a local success story.

Isle of Wight Tomato Juice – made with their own tomatoes for the perfect bloody mary mix.

South Downs Water – Protecting the natural mineral water of the South Downs

Of course, we also have a wonderful supply of English Sparkling wine, beer, cider and gin producers who are local as well.

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