A drinks producer has celebrated making 20 million bottles of cordial.
Belvoir Fruit Farms toasted the new year with a special tipple as managing director Pev Manners and his staff raised a glass of cordial from the 20 millionth bottle off their production line.
The company has also celebrated its 30th anniversary and a record year in sales, while 2015 will see Belvoir opening a new state-of-the-art factory at Bottesford to cope with the growing demand for its drinks.
Mr Manners said: “The company has rather humble beginnings in the family kitchen where my mother made bottles of elderflower cordial for family and friends. It soon proved so popular that we began to sell the cordial and became the first commercial producer of elderflower cordial in 1984. We have seen our drinks grow in popularity both in the UK and abroad, but it is no mystery why - our products are made using only natural ingredients, are of the highest quality but, most important of all, they taste genuinely lovely. Today we produce over 15 different cordials and 14 different pressé varieties but it is our elderflower for which we are still probably best known.”
Overall sales for Belvoir hit record levels in 2014 with sales in the UK rising by more than 20 per cent to over £15m. Export is becoming increasingly important for the business, with sales in this sector rising over 50 per cent from 2013 to 2014. Belvoir’s drinks can be found across Europe, Scandinavia, the USA, Canada, the Middle East and South East Asia. The USA market more than doubled in the year and Belvoir has also secured additional listings in Austria, Slovakia, France and South Korea, with a new customer in China due to be signed up in the New Year.
Mr Manner added: “It is a testament to the whole team at Belvoir that we have enjoyed such a good year. Everyone has worked extremely hard to achieve these results but we must also thank all those people who live locally and who every year answer our call for help in harvesting the elderflowers - without them there would be no Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Cordial. The production of the 20 millionth bottle of Belvoir drinks happening to coincide with the end of one of our best ever years, is the icing on the cake.”
Looking ahead to 2015, Belvoir has invested over £3m in the new Bottesford factory which it hopes to open in the spring in time for the next elderflower season. While the bottling line will be more efficient than their old one, their products will remain handmade on the family farm, made to the same family recipe and using only natural ingredients with no artificial additives or preservatives.
Belvoir have also promised to create at least 18 new jobs at the new facility from May 2013 to Sept 2015. In return they are promised a grant from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership.
For more information about Belvoir and its range, visit www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk