Thatchers responds to calls for a boycott of its cider over alleged links to slavery aan

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The ‘Countering Colston’ campaign has launched the boycott called ‘Don’t Buy Thatchers’

Campaigners are calling for the public to boycott Thatchers cider - claiming it has links to slavery.

The ‘Countering Colston’ campaign has asked people not to drink the cider as part of its work to condemn the legacy of slave-trader Edward Colston.

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The group, which is already calling for Colston’s Bristol which have erased the name of the slave trader">name removed from road names, buildings and statues, announced on Twitter its boycott of the company.

Members have previously criticised the city-based Society of Merchant Venturers, claiming it is a ‘cult of Colston’ which ‘celebrates’ the merchant, slave trader and philanthropist.

Now it has turned to the family-owned cider business Thatchers - whose director, Martin Thatcher, is a member of the organisation.

In the tweet, they wrote: “Martin Thatcher, director of the company, is a member of the Society of the Merchant Venturers.

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“The SMV has deep roots in the historical slave trade in Bristol, and its members were responsible for the suffering and death of tens of thousands of human beings.

“They are a powerful unelected elite who have significant influence on political and civic life in Bristol.”

Martin Thatcher, a fourth-generation cider-maker, has been a member of the private members club, in which Colston himself was part of, since 2012.

He told Bristol24/7 that he, as a “relative newcomer” to the society.

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Mr Thatcher says he wants to bring “fresh perspective” to the organisation particularly in how it engages with its history.

He said: “During the time I have been a member, I have been able to contribute to the valuable, philanthropic work that members of the Merchant Venturers do with organisations across Bristol, from care homes to education establishments.

“As a relative newcomer to the society, I hope I’ve been able to bring a fresh perspective to thinking, in particular as to how the SMV needs to acknowledge what has happened in the past, yet continue to do its fantastic work for people across all Bristol communities in a way fitting and relevant for our lives today.”

People took to Twitter today to express their outrage.

Janette Massey said: ‘’In that case then surely they shouldn’t have sugar (slaves worked there), cotton (especially any from China as that has modern slaves), coffee the list goes on.

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‘’Perhaps these people would be better getting an education and sense of perspective.’’

Chris Tovey added: “Words fail me. Mindless woke community raising non issues.’’

Wayne Worlock posted: “It’s crazy to think that the modern day business is still potentially supporting groups that were involved in the slave trade so many years ago.

These groups have a different agenda now and wouldn’t support the old times in any way whatsoever 🙄.’’

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