Aitkenhead quotes from an "organic" cider producer, Ivor Dunkerton, who claims that "The big cider producers like Bulmers are buying up farms, ripping out the hedgerows, putting in row upon row of apple trees, spraying the lot with chemicals and killing everything."
This is inaccurate. Bulmer is committed to environmental best practice. Over the last 10 years Bulmer's financial assistance and guarantee to buy every apple has encouraged farmers to plant over a million apple trees. This programme has been so successful that the company has had to turn away farmers keen to plant orchards. The company has also preserved many species of traditional English apples which might have been in danger of extinction, on its farms and in particular in its research orchard. It is other big cider producers that use foreign apple concentrate, not Bulmer as the article inferred.
Ironically, companies such as Bulmer are in a far better position to sustain English apple growing than small producers such as Ivor Dunkerton through having the resources to invest.
As far as complaining about the taste, I suggest he tries a pint of Bulmer's Traditional, a traditional cask-conditioned cider accredited by the Campaign for Real Ale.
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