In their submission to the Treasury ahead of the Spring Budget, the NACM has asked for special consideration to be given to cider.  Gordon Johncox, chair of the NACM explains “Cider has been in decline since 2009 and the impacts are being felt across the industry and cider supply chain.  Around 1,000 acres of cider apple orchards have been lost in the last year as the need for cider apples falls in line with the market.  The pressure is being felt across the South West, Herefordshire and other cider making regions, impacting investment and innovation.”  The standard cider category is now just 5.4% of the total drinks market, significantly smaller than it was a decade ago whilst in the same period changes to excise duty have resulted in the tax on cider moving closer to other categories.

“We need a 2p per pint reduction in excise duty, which will help return the cider category to growth, supporting rural employment, farming and tourism.  It is also time that the broader structure for cider excise duty is reviewed.  It is patently unfair that fruit ciders are treated as wine rather than cider.  We are asking that a definition is put in place so that these ciders are recognised and better protected to support innovation and growth across the category.”  Gordon explains. “In addition, the case for more support for small cider makers continues to grow. Currently these small scale operators represent over 90% of cider makers, but less than 3% of category volume.  We are asking the Treasury to introduce a progressive cider duty that would support growth and innovation and create more jobs.  We need consultation across the cider industry to ensure that this can be achieved in a way that encourages growth whilst continuing to protect the smallest cider makers who currently rely on the 70Hl duty relief”.

The NACM has explained to the Treasury that the current concerns around post Brexit impacts on the cider industry, continue to create more uncertainty for the industry, especially around export and supply chain issues   Cider makers create rural jobs, invest in their communities and encourage over half a million tourists to visit each year.  Gordon concludes “Cider really is a Great British success story and we ask that it is given more support to encourage growth, innovation and success.  We hope that we will be raising a glass of cider to the Chancellor on 11th March”.