Hawkes Apple Donor drive tackles food waste this Sept-Oct

Hawkes, London’s first urban cidery turning unloved, ‘wonky’, or surplus apples into delicious real-apple cider, continues its annual drive to turn vast amounts of otherwise ‘waste’ apples into planet-friendly cidery goodness.

The cidermaker’s annual Apple Donors campaign, in collaboration with The Orchard Project – the only national charity dedicated solely to the creation, restoration and celebration of community orchards – started from 1 September 2022 and will run for six weeks. Donors from around London, the South East and beyond, will deliver surplus stock from orchards, apples that have fallen from trees in the garden, or even those that might be on the turn in the fruit bowl, to be turned into cider.

Hawkes‘ annual harvest drive for apple donations shines a light on the UK food shortage and provides a solution that goes some way to addressing the vast amounts of apples – 800,000 a day or 41.6 million every year – that go to waste.

Having saved 130,000 (twelve tonnes) of ‘waste’ apples in 2021, including seven tonnes of apples from urban orchards in London and the South East, donated by The Orchard Project, and a running total of 60 tonnes worth of apples over the past seven years, Hawkes hopes to salvage a further twelve tonnes of apples in 2022.

Anyone can support this very worthy cause, and for every three kilograms of apples donated, Hawkes will offer a free pint of its delicious real-apple cider. Becoming part of a special community, Apple Donors will also benefit from a lifetime discount at the Hawkes Taproom and will have access to exclusive events, including secret cider tastings.

Any type of apple goes – no matter the shape, size or variety. So as soon as the apples start to fall naturally, get the kids collecting from the bottom of the garden, inform neighbours with apple trees, or even go foraging… Got 12 kilos? Enjoy four free ciders!

Donations can be delivered to one of Hawkes’ four compass-point donation hubs; The Heathcote & Star pub in East London (E11 4EA), The Arnos Arms in North London (N11 1AN), and the Hawkes Bermondsey based Cidery & Taproom in the South of the capital (SE1 2HQ), as well as Forest Green Rovers New Lawn Stadium (GL6 0FG) in Gloucestershire – the world’s most sustainable football club, and set in the heartland of British apple growing.

For anyone across the UK unable to visit these hubs, apples can be packaged up and sent to the Hawkes Cidery & Taproom via post, addressed to: Apple Donors, Hawkes Cidery & Taproom, 86-92 Druid St, London SE1 2HQ.

“With the support of donors across the country,” said Elliot Allison, Hawkes’ general manager, “we are hoping to save a double decker bus worth of apples from going to waste this harvest season.”

“Climate action NGO, WRAP, has confirmed to us this summer that as many as 800,000 apples are thrown away every single day from UK homes. That’s too huge to ignore and currently faced with a food shortage in Britain, we simply cannot waste what we have. It’s not environmentally viable and it’s disrespectful to growers and to those working in the supply chain industry.”

“We’re convinced that everyone knows someone in their circle who has an apple tree that’s not being used to its full potential. Most of us manage a token apple pie come autumn but leave the rest of the fruit to rot. So, this year we’re asking people to spread the word about our apple donor drive to prove what we call the ‘two degrees of apple trees theory’ and join us on our mission to save delicious apples from across the UK going to waste by turning them into pints of refreshing cider.

“Those delivering to one of our donation hubs or sending surplus apples to the Taproom will not only benefit from free ciders, discounts and exclusive events, but they’ll know that they’ve done their bit to help the massive food waste issue in the UK.”

To celebrate the campaign this year, Hawkes hosted the inaugural #AppleDonorFest event at its Cidery & Taproom, in early September.

All of Hawkes core cider is made using discarded, “wonky” supermarket fruit – too big or small for the shelves, but perfect for juicing. The annual Apple Donors harvest campaign was launched in 2015 to help Brits discard of surplus supplies sustainably and allowing them to play their part in reducing apple waste every autumn.

Using only natural ingredients and never apple concentrate, Hawkes takes a modern approach to cider production, offering vibrant, fresh and flavourful products.

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