Shepton Mallet cider mill: Owners hope to announce good sale news…

Shepton Mallet cider mill: Owners hope to announce good sale news...

A deal to save a famous cider mill in Somerset could be announced “shortly” – potentially ending a year of turmoil for 80 workers and their families. C&C Group, the Irish owners of Shepton Mallet cider mill, revealed in January this year that jobs would be cut and cider production would stop. Some jobs were axed in May. But recently it emerged the firm was in negotiations about selling the mill to another company. On Tuesday a spokesman for C&C said it was hopeful a deal would be finalised soon.
The cider firm’s representative said: “The company remains in discussions with a trade buyer and we hope to announce good news shortly.” READ MORE: Thatchers responds to rumours it is Shepton cider mill’s mystery buyer Signs placed around Shepton Mallet calling for locals to boycott Magners cider – a brand manufactured by C&C in Ireland – prompted the company to provide Somerset Live with an update. SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS ARTICLE TO VOTE IN OUR POLL ON THE BOYCOTT Calls for a boycott have been stepped up recently by campaign group Save Shepton Mallet Cider Mill. The group said on Tuesday, through an anonymous spokesperson, that it did not believe the claims by C&C that a deal to save the cider mill was close. “We are now wondering if in fact there is a buyer or are they all there to cover up C&C’s incompetence. “We’d like them to finally be truthful to the workforce; they have kept them hanging for ten painful months. “The way they have been treated is disgraceful. This is not only affecting the workers but their families, who would like to know what their future holds.” Below: Save Shepton Mallet Cider Mill sent Somerset Live this sign design, which it intends to use soon. Referring to its calls for a boycott of Magners, the group said it was trying to “hit C&C where it hurts”. When designs for the signs were posted on the group’s Facebook page on October 6 they apparently attracted 14,000 views, 93 likes, 148 shares and 18 comments. But not everyone is supportive of the Magners boycott. Landlord of The Swan in Shepton Mallet, Ian Jarmaine, said he “didn’t get” the thinking behind it. He argued since the taste of Blackthorn cider had changed, Thatchers had become the main cider product on sale in pubs. He described Magners as a “marginal product” locally. C&C also has to make tough decisions if Shepton cider mill was struggling to make a profit, he said. He added: “Nobody has explained why this business hasn’t been snapped up if it is profitable. The mill has changed hands many times in the last 25 years and boycotting Magners, a small seller in this area, will not concern Magners one bit.” Mendip District Councillor for Shepton, John Parham, agreed with Mr Jarmaine that C&C would probably not take the boycott seriously. Though he did think the protest was a symbol of the alienation felt by workers at the Shepton mill. Regarding the possibility of a deal to sell the mill, Mr Parham said he would need to see the details before deciding if it was good news for his town. Below: John Parham – a town, district…

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