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Bright future beckons for Bramley apple


Pat McKeever and Catherine McKeever from Long Meadow Cider

Pat McKeever and Catherine McKeever from Long Meadow Cider

Pat McKeever and Catherine McKeever from Long Meadow Cider

A Co Armagh cider business has said it doesn't believe Brexit will diminish the importance of the Bramley apple.

The Orchard County's Bramley has protected geographical indication (PGI) status from the EU - and Catherine McKeever of Long Meadow Cider in Portadown said she did not think the status of the Bramley would be diminished.

"The Bramley is now world-renowned and, regardless of the Brexit vote, it's still going to have a special place," said Catherine.

The company, which is run by Mrs McKeever's husband Pat and son Peter, is about to start harvesting its apples for its 2017 cider products.

It's also made it through to the final of Blas na hEireann, the Irish Food Awards. Its Medium and Blossom Burst Craft Ciders have been nominated in the competition, the final of which is held in October in Dingle.

Pat McKeever said: "We are absolutely delighted to have not just one, but two of our ciders listed as finalists in this high-profile competition.

"The Blas na hEireann awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce and products in the country and the criteria for judging is now accepted as an international industry standard."

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The third-generation company won an award earlier this year for best use of PGI status in the Food Heartland Awards, run by the ABC Council.

Peter McKeever was also shortlisted in the rising star category of the Food Heartland Awards. Other Northern Ireland products with PGI status include Comber Early Potatoes and Lough Neagh Eels.