‘Local Fox Cider’ wins top award for making a difference
CAMRA’s Pomona Award is awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding achievement, commitment, or contribution to the promotion of real cider or perry.
Elizabeth Pegler has received the Campaign for Real Ale’s Pomona Award for developing the social enterprise Local Fox Cider – a project that combines cider production with food waste reduction and volunteer upskilling to create a fine product that benefits the local community.
Named after the Roman Goddess of apples, the Pomona Award is presented to a person or organisation that has made an outstanding achievement, commitment, or contribution to the promotion of real cider or perry.
Local Fox Cider is part of the Orchard Project, which aims to bring orchards to the heart of urban communities. It is made entirely from apples grown in community orchards and gardens across London that are harvested or received by donation, including some rare breeds like Arthur Turner and Idared.
Hundreds of volunteers help to harvest, press and bottle over nine tonnes of apples, learning about every step of the journey to create delicious drinks from apple to bottle. Apples are pressed using the cloth-and-rack method and Local Fox uses wild fermentation techniques to produce a delicious unfiltered product.
Local Fox is then sold at a variety of shops and pubs across London, and all profits are funnelled back into community projects. Since its launch, Local Fox has helped save 12 tonnes of surplus fruit in 2019 alone, the profits from which all went toward growing and saving more fresh urban fruit.
Elizabeth Pegler says: “We are so incredibly grateful to have won the Pomona Award, not only because it makes me feel like a goddess of orchards but to see all our wonderful work recognised. Here at The Orchard Project it’s our mission to bring orchards to the heart of cities. Our cider and juice enterprise is very much part of that, with funds raised from the sales of our drinks returned to the orchards in the shape of tools, skills training and of course cider.”
CAMRA Pomona award organiser Andrea Briers said: “The Pomona Award is truly made for people like Elizabeth who show what a hugely positive impact cider production can have on a local community. When many people think of cider their mind will jump to rural areas of the West Country, but initiatives like Local Fox demonstrate that cider has a home even in our city centres. Huge congratulations to Elizabeth for her outstanding work on this truly unique and innovative project.”
The announcement comes as CAMRA members celebrate Cider Month throughout the month of October to mark the heart of the harvest season. To find out more about the Cider Month and how to take part, visit https://camra.org.uk/beer-and-cider/campaigns-cider/cider-and-perry-months/
To learn more about The Orchard Project, try their drinks or stock them, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org