Cider maker Aston Manor has developed a unique system that uses the River Severn to reduce the environmental impact of its new fruit processing facility.
River water that flows past the firm’s processing facility in Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, is diverted and used to condense vapours created during the process of concentrating the fresh juice pressed from the apples.
No water is lost before it is returned to the River Severn and it is only fractionally warmer than when it was taken – with no impact on the wildlife in the area.
The innovation is part of Aston Manor’s new multi-million pound fruit processing site, which will this year (2015) see a further investment of £2m.
Gordon Johncox, managing director of the midlands-based business said: “We are delighted that the scheme is working as well as it is. Though confident that we had created a superior solution to a challenging issue, this is the first installation of this kind.”
“That the installation and integration of the scheme has been so successful now enables us to dramatically expand capacity.”
He said that the company is adding some 350,000 trees to the landscape as part of its expansion plans. This means that it expects to see, over the next five to six years, its processing levels at the Stourport-on-Severn site rise from 6,000 tonnes of apples a year to around 35,000 tonnes a year.