Rosie met with Cider Maker Sam Mount and Mark Hopper from the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM).
After being given a tour of the orchards and learning more about the cider industry, Rosie listened to concerns about cider makers’ tanks remaining largely blocked with the 2019 and 2020 harvests, which may need to be destroyed to make way for this year’s apple harvest. Worse still, was the fear that without support, decades old cider apple orchards may vanish from the countryside. The impacts of the numerous COVID lockdowns, pubs, bars shut and cancelled festivals over the last 12 months, has left some apple growers and cider makers in a perilous position.
“Cider makers are asking for much needed support to allow them to recover from the impact of COVID and for the government to keep their pledge to reduce red tape for business.” said Mark Hopper NACM “ The Treasury review into how cider and other alcoholic beverages are taxed is an opportunity to provide much needed support for our industry, but cider makers are concerned about more complexity and added cost.”
Sam Mount said, “It has been a challenging year but there are some positives, such as connecting more directly with our local community. Opening The Barn as a cafe, bar, shop and deli has been a great experience and a way for people to get closer to their local food and drink producers.”
Speaking after the visit, Rosie Duffield said “it is good to see a local business continue to be optimistic during what has been a difficult time. The food and drink sector welcomed the freeze in cider duty in the Budget, helping local pubs and the wider supply chain in their Coronavirus recovery, but the NACM have made a number of arguments for the future and these issues are definitely something I will look at.”
- Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield was in Bekesbourne on Friday 23rd April 2021 visiting Kentish Pip Cider on Woolton Farm.
- The Mount family have been growing apples at Woolton Farm for four generations. For more information on Kentish Pip Cider visit: https://www.kentishpip.co.uk/