Cider makers bring cheer to Westminster

Cider makers bring cheer to Westminster

Gordon Johncox, the chair of the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM) and the chief executive of Aston Manor Cider, addressed MPs, government officials and industry figures to outline a British success story in need of support.

Gordon outlined how collaboration across the industry by cider makers of all scales is a positive feature, though the hard-pressed sector still needs support from government.

As a relatively small industry, representing the best interests of every cider maker informs all aspects of activity of the NACM. The vision of the association is that all producers can operate successfully and fairly in a competitive market, whilst continuing to support their communities, employees and apple growers.

To enable this, he called for a balanced regulatory environment for cider makers reflecting the unique circumstances of producers. In particular, MPs, Ministers and officials were urged to deliver a consistent application of regulations.

Gordon challenged the Government’s willingness to understand the specific situations of cider makers. While headlines from the Autumn budget stated that cider duty was frozen, ciders in the middle duty band received a 25% tax increase, impacting many small cider makers.

Following his speech, Gordon commented: “Cider businesses of all sizes are working hard to deliver a sustainable future for the benefit of consumers and the rural environment. The industry is a significant part of British heritage.

“We need the support of politicians to work with us to return cider to more positive results, remove red tape and the unnecessary rules that limit innovation and investment.  This support can enable cider makers produce fantastic products that interest in our category.

“We work to see every cider maker flourish and grow in line with their ambitions, whilst maintaining the highest standards. We firmly believe that with our collaborative nature and how we support one another this can be achieved when we can rely on consistent and sensible legislation.

“In recent months we have seen members providing orcharding experts when others experience weather related problems, large companies have supported smaller producers to expand their packaging ranges. When something is challenging or if advice is needed, small producers will always be supported, and to me, this is why the UK cider industry is so very special.”

The Parliamentary Cider Group Reception was an opportunity to showcase the best of British cider, which is home to the largest cider market in the world. The evening was attended by cider makers from across the South West, Midlands and further afield, as well as many MPs that represent cider making regions within their constituencies.

The NACM is the UK cider industry representative body, working on behalf of large and small producers:

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Celebrating the History of Great British Cider

Celebrating the History of Great British Cider

The NACM has been working with the Cider Museum in Hereford to look at some of their wonderful artefacts linked to the history of cider making in the UK. Cider has been enjoyed for hundreds of years and the Cider Museum holds a vast collection of items linked to the past. Our video tells the stories of four parts of their collection, looking at some of the key moments in the history of our favourite drink. With huge thanks to Elizabeth Pimblett, the museum Director, who had the difficult task of selecting just four out of all her favourite parts of the Cider Museum’s collection.

CIDER DUTY FROZEN IN THE BUDGET

CIDER DUTY FROZEN IN THE BUDGET

We are very grateful that the Chancellor has announced that cider duty will again be frozen in today’s Budget.  UK cider makers are under tremendous pressure and whilst we had asked for a reduction in duty, we are pleased that he has listened to our concerns and ensured that the current level of decline does not deteriorate further.  The new duty rate for the mid-strength duty band, for ciders between 6.9% and 7.5% ABV of £50.71, introduced from 1st February 2019, will result in an increase of more than 10p per litre bottle.  An increase that will impact a large number of cider makers across the UK of all sizes and something that they are disappointed about.  Gordon Johncox, chair of the National Association of Cider Makers commented “Great British ciders are a part of rural tradition in many parts of the UK and by freezing cider duty today, the Chancellor has given support to our great industry. Whilst the Chancellor has been very fair in freezing cider duty, we are still concerned for those cider makers inadvertently impacted by the new mid-strength duty band.”