A LOCAL father and son duo has been named Apple Growers of the Year 2022 by Thatchers Cider.

Philip Griffiths has been growing apples on his farm for the well-known cider organisation since 2016, working tirelessly on his 150 acres.

His son, Robert, joined the family business and used his agriculture degree to help grow a wide variety of apples, such as Gilly, Jane, Helen, 3 counties and Dabinett.

Their farm grows apples exclusively for Thatchers, which is stocked globally in supermarkets, pubs and restaurants and whose name has, for many of us, become connected with the summer time.

The pair have been praised for their hard work and passion for the industry.

Philip said: “From one family business to another, we love growing apples for Thatchers. Their ethos for quality is exactly in line with how we work.

"We supply what our customers want, and Thatchers want the best. Their success is our success. So we invest in our farm to make success happen.

“Knowing you’re working with people who have the same values as you, breeds a successful working relationship. By talking directly to the Thatcher family, this makes a big difference.”

Richard Johnson, head cider maker at Thatchers, producers of ciders such as Thatchers Gold and Thatchers Haze, said: “It’s no mean feat to be delivering top quality apples throughout the length of the harvest season.

"Phil and Rob know exactly how to ensure a consistent quality of fruit, and harvest to perfection. The best quality cider always starts in the orchards.

“We look forward to working with Phil and Rob for many more years to come.”

Thatchers Cider has over 115 years of experience in cider-making, and prides itself on its family orientated ethos.

There has been at least four generations of cider makers, all of which have worked to develop a wide range of ciders, including the popular Blood Orange cider and the well-known Thatchers Haze.

The Grower of the Year award was presented to Philip and Robert at Thatchers annual wassail by fourth generation cider maker Martin Thatcher and head cider maker Richard Johnson.

Previous winners of the award include Ian and Yta Batchelor, who own over 40 acres of apple trees in Devon.