Our unique London social enterprise turns unwanted fruit into a fantastic cider brand, all for the benefit of community orchards. Now we need the help of business planning experts to help us take a new opportunity – taking waste fruit from commercial orchards and turning it into a profit for our charity.
WHAT WE DO
The Orchard project is the UK’s only national charity dedicated solely to creating and restoring thriving, urban community orchards.
Our work is community-led and we’ll work with anyone in an urban area that wants to create an orchard. Over 70% of our work is in areas of greater deprivation. Our vision is simple – everyone in the UK within walking distance of a community orchard by 2040.
OUR CIDER ENTERPRISE
Since 2016, The Orchard Project and our growing band of volunteers have been on a mission to turn unwanted fruit in to goodness. Through our cider enterprise, we have rescued 9 tonnes of apples from the orchards and gardens of London. By 2019 we hope to grow this to 40 tonnes of unloved apples transformed into delicious cider. The way we operate is surprisingly simple but completely different to anybody else making cider in London. We take unwanted fruit, we turn it in to cider and we give some of it back to the donors.
Meanwhile, any income we make comes back to the charity which then goes on to support and create more community orchards. So far, we’ve given back 1,700 litres of cider along with tools and training to community orchards and individuals who donated apples. We’ve held 39 community days with nearly 500 volunteers and 21 London community orchards involved.
But now there is a new opportunity. Our long-term friends at a major national brewing corporation can provide us with tonnes of unwanted apples every year. That’s commercial fruit that would otherwise go to waste. We want to transform it as part of our social enterprise.
But we need help. This enterprise has to generate a profit for the charity. We really need business planning, number-crunching and strategy experts to work with us to pull together a practical, detailed and robust plan that can use this unwanted commercial fruit in a way that will be sustainable and profitable, reducing waste whilst supporting the charity to keep doing good.
Can you help us transform unloved fruit into social good?