Cider makers across the country are celebrating Apple Day on 21st October. It’s an extra special Apple Day this year as they are able to announce that it’s been a perfect year for cider apples, resulting in a bumper crop of beautifully ripened apples, ready to be pressed into one of the nation’s favourite drinks.
The National Association of Cider Makers (NACM), which represents the industry, has declared 2023 the year of the cider apple, with the conditions for the orchards meaning the cider made this year will be particularly special. Cider apples, so woven into our heritage, with names like Merry Legs, Slack ma-Girdle, Sheep’s Nose and Brown Snout, have thrived.
Although we Brits have not enjoyed the best summer weather-wise, it has proved optimum conditions for cider apples. With the mix of sun and rain and the late burst of September and October sunshine, it has created the right conditions for the apples to ripen to perfection, with just the right amount of acidity and sweetness to press into the ultimate cider.
From bud to bottle, cider is a crucial part of the country’s economy. Cider making not only supports employment, farming, and sustainability, but boosts tourism particularly in the West, Southwest and West Midlands.
Throughout the UK there are three hundred farmers growing over fifteen thousand acres of orchards that are often handed down through generations. This farmland crucially preserves the UK’s biodiversity by attracting a wide variety of wildlife. Once produced, cider flies the flag for British food and drink with over £50 million of exports of cider per year.
Fenella Tyler, Chief Executive at National Association of Cider Makers (NACM) said:
“Apple Day provides a wonderful chance to celebrate apples and orchards, and cider makers across the country will be doing that with aplomb this year, raising a glass to the exceptional crop that 2023 has given us.
Those who love the drink, which is so much a part of the fabric of local communities, will be delighted with the results of this year’s harvest and we thank those who continue to support cider makers.
Not only is it essential to sustaining rural areas, the industry also supports local amenities and charities, funding wildlife ventures and community orchards. A glass of cider supports all of this, plus offers a little slice of sunshine!”
Exhibition Orchard, Thatchers Cider Copyright Neil Phillips Photo + Film Ltd
Pictured: Sir Bill Wiggin MP, Member of Parliament for North Herefordshire and President of the All-Party Parliamentary Cider Group
The success of British cider in the global market was celebrated this week by over 30 MPs in Westminster. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of World Cider Day, the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM) held the event where MPs were given an opportunity to sample the wide range of ciders made by Great British cider makers.
MPs joined thousands of cider enthusiasts around the world to raise a glass in celebration of cider. As the largest global cider market, worth £2.95 billion, it is an important part of the British economy. British cider makers proudly shared a wide range of ciders in celebration of this annual event.
Representing the counties of Herefordshire, Somerset, Devon and beyond, ciders were displayed in various bar locations within the Palace of Westminster for the first week of June, recognising how World Cider Day has grown from humble beginnings, to an event that, ten years later, is celebrated in markets globally, from beaches in Australia to bars in the US, with cider makers in South Africa, Japan and across Europe holding special events to celebrate this important date in their calendar.
MPs were invited to sample traditional ciders that have been at the heart of the industry for decades, alongside newer innovations including a selection of low alcohol ciders that are gaining significance in the British marketplace. A range of bag-in-box ciders were on display, showing the importance of the still cider category to the hospitality sector and the range of locally sourced ciders reflected the importance of cider apple orchards across Great Britain.
Mark Hopper, Public Affairs Director of the National Association of Cider Makers commented: “The traditions of cider making go back centuries in Great Britain, with roots firmly in rural communities, it is of great importance for farming and employment in these areas. It is crucial to bring our MPs together to reflect on the significance of British cider and its place in the global market and the British economy. We are absolutely thrilled that so many of our MPs recognise this and showed up to support the industry.”
Sir Bill Wiggin MP, Member of Parliament for North Herefordshire, added: “Our cider is truly something to be proud of and I am delighted to celebrate the tenth anniversary of World Cider Day with a glass of cider. It’s an event that myself and my colleagues within the Houses of Parliament relish attending, offering a chance to sample the fabulous and wide-ranging ciders made by Great British cider makers.”
21 October 2022 – Cider makers across the UK are celebrating Apple Day by sharing the importance of orcharding and cider making. A crucial part of the country’s economy, cider making not only supports employment, farming, and sustainability, but boosts tourism particularly in the West, Southwest and West Midlands.
Apples, that are only suitable for making cider, grow in abundance throughout the orchards in the country and it is the skill of the cider maker to turn those apples into a delicious drink. British cider producers are part of an industry that is steeped in heritage with traditional, artisan expertise passed down through the generations.
Fenella Tyler, Chief Executive at National Association of Cider Makers (NACM) said: “Apple Day gives cider makers the opportunity to promote their trade and highlight the importance of cider making to their local community. The industry provides much needed support to the broader rural economy providing over 11,500 rural jobs across the UK and attracting tourists from around the country and the rest of the world.
The culture of cider making is interwoven within the fabric of local communities and is essential to sustaining rural areas. The industry supports local amenities and charities, funding wildlife ventures and community orchards. It is essential that the British heritage of cider making is supported.”
Throughout the UK there are three hundred farmers growing over sixteen thousand acres of orchards that are often handed down through generations. This farmland crucially preserves the UK’s biodiversity by attracting wildlife, and more specifically bees, that are needed for pollination. Once produced, cider flies the flag for British food and drink with over £100million of exports of cider per year.
About Apple Day
Apple Day, 21 October, was launched in 1990 by Common Ground. The aspiration was to create a calendar custom, an autumn holiday. From the start, Apple Day was intended to be both a celebration and a demonstration of the variety we are in danger of losing, not simply in apples, but in the richness and diversity of landscape, ecology and culture too. It has also played a part in raising awareness in the provenance and traceability of food.