A POPULAR juice business that has been running for fifty years has confirmed it is closing its doors due to rising costs.

Hill Farm Juice, in Swanmore, made the announcement on Facebook on Friday, March 15.

In a post, business owner Will Dobson said: “As we come to an end of my 11th apple-pressing season, I am writing to say that it will, regrettably, be our last. Over the last couple of years, despite our hardest efforts, our costs have increased at a pace that cannot be reasonably reflected in our pricing.

“Ironically, the price of apples themselves has not risen in the nearly 23 years that I have been in the business growing, packing and pressing, but the well-publicised increase in electricity prices as well as glass, packaging materials and now labour has placed the business beyond economic.

“Over the next few weeks, we will be bottling the remainder of the juice that we've pressed this season. After that, what we have in stock will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

READ MORE: Local food, drink and craft producers meet to network and celebrate kitchen business

“We thank you for your support and custom which we thoroughly appreciate and trust you understand what a tough decision this has been.

“Finally, I must thank my amazing team for their hard work, humour and amazing loyalty. Before we sign off over the summer, it will be business as usual.”

Hill Farm Juice has been based in Swanmore since its founding in the 1970s.

In 2020, the business sold its 100-acre orchard at Hill Farm to Hillier Trees as part of a £1.5m deal.

Following this, Hill Farm Juice started importing apples from other local suppliers.