A week of cider celebration is going to be held in the first ever British Cider Week, running from 14th to 23rd April 2023.
Cider makers up and down the country will be taking part, from small micro-businesses to household names, from start-ups to those with many generations of heritage.
Martin Berkeley, founder of Pilton Cider, who is getting involved with the celebrations, says, “Spring is a fantastic time to be celebrating cider. When we’re all enjoying warmer weather, there’s no better time to enjoy the delights of this amazing drink.
“It’s the perfect opportunity for cider makers to come together and with one voice let the great British public know about the brilliant ciders that we produce in this country.”
The campaign will be encouraging consumers to explore the diversity of ciders produced in the UK and take part in the many events being organised by producers from the cider heartland of the West Country, the apple gardens of Kent, to urban cider works.
Mark Hopper, Public Affairs Director of the National Association of Cider Makers, endorsing the campaign, adds, “The cider industry has such a rich heritage. We have producers who span generations, as well as newer cider makers entering this exciting world for the first time.
“With such a diverse range of cider styles to explore, with our first British Cider Week we’re looking to encourage consumers to delve more into cider, perhaps by purchasing a pint in their local pub or restaurant, picking up a style they haven’t tried before with their weekly shop, or taking part in some of the events and activities that our producers are going to be organising throughout the week.”
Cider makers across the UK will be taking part in British Cider Week with many different events and activities such as tours, tastings and competitions. Producers participating include:
Pilton Cider, Sheppy’s Cider, Westons Cider, Thatchers Cider, Thistly Cross Cider, Ross Cider, Stones Cider, Olivers Cider and Perry, Somerset Cider Brandy, Little Pomona, Ross on Wye Cider and Greggs Pit Cider & Perry
Martin Berkeley continues, “This is a great opportunity for retailers and distributors, pubs and bars to showcase their cider range, perhaps by teaming up with their local producers to create some great consumer activities, such as cider festivals, special cider menus, or tastings.”
More information about events and those taking part can be found at https://britishciderweek.org.uk/
Anyone wishing to find out more can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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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