Hereford & Worcester

Poor pear harvest in Herefordshire for perry cider

Perry cider producers in Herefordshire say a poor harvest of the pears means they may struggle to meet demand after a surge in popularity in the drink.

Perry comes from perry pears which are smaller and more acidic than other types. Conventional pear cider comes from a sweeter variety.

Producers will start pressing the fruit in about a month's time.

Tom Oliver, from Oliver's Cider and Perry, said the crop was not as good as last autumn's bumper harvest.

He said that the impact could be felt next year and could also mean prices for the drink increase.

More people in the county are now being encouraged to plant pear trees to help increase production although, perry usually comes from trees that are 30 years old or more.

Mr Oliver, from Ocle Pychard, said the growth in demand has been "phenomenal".

Allen Hogan, chairman of the Three Counties Cider and Perry Association, said they were trying to identify new orchards.

"It's great news for us but the real problem is a shortage of fruit this year," he said.

"The perry crop tends to alternate and last season it was fantastic and this season it's not so good and, also people aren't planting the trees unfortunately.

"But we'll try and get by.

"We're identifying small orchards that have been neglected for years which is great news."

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