Sometimes, when you write a short and simple question to a company, the length and breadth of the response tells you that a nerve has been touched.
Cawston Press apple juice cartons are extraordinarily PC. A long list of the non-ingredients appears on the side of recyclable packaging. Having time on holiday, and realising that the package gave the impression of a home-grown product without mentioning sourcing, I sent off a web-site customer enquiry:
Do you have orchards abroad? The source of your apples is not written on your packets or web-site?
Here is the reply in full:
Cawston Press has been producing pressed apple juice for over 25 years. We use all our combined expertise of apples and blending to produce what we believe is the very best tasting pressed apple juice that has a consistent blend which can be enjoyed all year round. A key factor to achieving this is the care and attention we take in selecting specific varieties of apples. To produce the long acclaimed Cawston Press Apple Juice we always include some English Cox Orange Pippin and Bramley apples - the Cox delivers a rich full flavour, and the Bramley provides the 'bite' and sharper refreshment that we look for in our signature product. Other apple varieties used will be mainly Jonagold, Braeburn, Gala and Golden Delicious and for reasons of availability of just picked fruit we source these varieties from Europe. The exact proportion that we use of each variety will be decided by taste and will depend on the level of sweetness and acidity that will inevitably vary with each batch of apples
The approach we take to sourcing and combining these specific apple varieties is unique to Cawston Press but it enables us to produce a consistently great tasting juice for our consumers to enjoy all year round. Unlike other leading brands all the apples that we use for Cawston Press are 'picked and pressed' rather than held in what can be many months of long term storage prior to pressing (as is the case with fresh apple juices pressed all year round).
In producing the other blends in our range we select the sweeter apple varieties to balance the sharper taste of the other ingredient –for example the Rhubarb or Blackcurrant. Alternatively we will select the more delicate flavoured varieties to blend with ingredients such as Elderflower to ensure that the lighter tastes come through.
It is the careful selection of the best apple varieties available for a particular product blend, the belief that it is best to ‘pick and press’ the apples direct from the orchard, and our skill in blending the juices to achieve a consistent range of blends all year round – that together make Cawston Press the very best tasting juice whatever the time of year.
You will note the actual information I sought in six words I have highlighted towards the end of paragraph one. It could have been edited still further, down to one. 'Yes'. It is delightful juice and I am not against importing apples as they are a seasonal product. Never defend yourself before you are sure you have been attacked.