Call of Duty – Cider House Rules

January 31 2012

Henry Chevallier Guild, chair of the NACM with Ian Liddell-Grainger, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cider Group


A meeting of minds, and taste buds, took place on Monday 30 January, when the All Party Parliamentary Cider Group, in association with the NACM, held its twice-yearly reception at the House of Commons in London.

A regular fixture in the diary, the reception is a welcome opportunity for UK cider makers to meet with and talk to MPs, ministers, members of the House of Lords and Whitehall.

The opportunity to promote a greater understanding of the cider industry is an important part of the NACM’s work and this reception gives us and cider makers a unique opportunity to make guests aware of the importance of the cider industry in the rural economy.

Cider makers are based in rural communities and their production processes and investment in orchards is very different from other drinks producers.  For example, the planning, planting and management of a cider apple orchard takes decades, while costly capital equipment in the cider mill is used for just three months of the year.

There is a different duty regime for cider, it reflects the particular and unique circumstances of the industry.  The ambition is for duty stability, in order for producers, large and small, to make investment decisions that will sustain and improve their businesses.  Hence keeping the government informed of the value of the cider industry is an important part of the work of the NACM.

Cider industry leaders told government officials at a packed reception how they are delivering a more sustainable future.

Henry Chevallier, chair of the NACM said: “To ensure we do more than talk about delivering positive change, we have sought to bring rigour and objectivity to our investment in this area.

“In another first for cider, we are working with Business In The Community (BITC) so that we have the processes and framework to identify the progress we are making and to identify areas to address.”

BITC is a business-led charity that promotes responsible and sustainable business practice. In particular the ‘Responsible Business Check Up’ is a gap analysis and benchmarking tool to help develop a strategic approach to corporate responsibility and to integrate and improve responsibility performance through all operations.

Henry Chevallier explained: “We think and plan for the long-term; it is our nature, as is our determination to improve the environment, to deliver value to our partners and to enhance the communities we are part of. However, given the investment we make in sustainability it is important that we are organised to maximise the benefits.

“We intend to imbed sustainability in to all areas of operation, but also to imbed the processes associated with improvement to ensure we can demonstrably measure the benefits being secured by individual businesses and the industry as a whole.”

Stephen Howard, CEO of BITC said: “We are delighted that the NACM has successfully used the Responsible Business Check Up to identify the needs facing their sector.

“I know they have found the process hugely informative in both recognising where they had already started work and also in identifying areas for future focus. In many cases it was the RBCU process that allowed some of their great work to be ‘captured’.

“I look forward to working with them to address these needs as they continue on their responsible business journey.”

Linked to this work is the launch of a new website Cider’s Future ( which will provide details on the progress being made. It will illustrate how members are working to achieve their aspirations to become the ‘The Model Cider Company’, by providing examples of sustainability and responsibility best practice already being undertaken. The emphasis is on driving improvements in the workplace; the wider environment; with the businesses it works with and with the community it is part of.

Henry Chevallier: “When we develop a model for business and industry growth we want it to be for the long-term – something able to sustain our investment cycle which is measured in decades.”

Over 200 VIP guests and cider-makers gathered on the Terrace Marquee in Westminster on the evening of the 30th.  


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