Pictured: Ian Liddell-Grainger MP, Chair of APPCG and David Sheppy, Chair of NACM

Newly elected chair of the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM), David Sheppy, called for a freeze in excise duty until at least 2025 in his inaugural speech at the All-Party-Parliamentary Cider reception in Westminster this week.

More than 120 cider makers, MPs and those connected to the cider industry gathered to celebrate the importance of the most traditional of UK drinks. Ian Liddell-Grainger MP, chair of the APPCG, opened the event, reminding those present of the importance of cider making across many rural communities.

While the event was an opportunity to celebrate British cider makers, there was a serious note at times, with calls on the government to commit to no further excise duty increases for at least 18 months following the damaging effects of the recent 10.1% duty increase alongside the Alcohol Duty Reform changes targeting the most traditional ciders.

David explained how challenging it is at the moment for cider makers. “The last few years have been tough for cider makers. The market has been struggling and at times it has really felt as though the government has lost focus on the valuable contribution that the traditions of cider making bring to our rural economies. A 10.1% increase in excise duty; duty reforms that penalise our most traditional ciders; complicated systems that have been rushed through; increasing levels of red tape for both cider makers and farmers. The list is endless and personally I have been very frustrated and concerned that the finest, traditional ciders and family businesses are being negatively impacted”.

He called on MPs to support the cider industry, which supports more than 11,000 jobs, 16,000 acres of orchards and is worth £2.95 billion and by far the largest globally, playing an important role across rural economies in Herefordshire, across South West and beyond, cider makers attract more than 1 million tourists each year, contributing to their rural economies and supporting communities.

Highlighting industry concerns that yet another excise duty related consultation was due, David asked for support as the government begins the lengthy process of reviewing the definition of cider. “In the past those responsible for excise duty made a point of coming to see us and learn more about the cider category.” He said “we appreciate that the last few years have made that more difficult, but all of us here tonight would like to see us to return to that level of interest in cider making.”

As a sixth generation cider maker, from a cider making family spanning more than 200 years, David acknowledged how far the industry has come in that time, taking great leaps in technology, whilst also keeping with the traditions important to the heritage of cider making. He concluded that with the right support the cider industry can be optimistic for our future and for the great ciders that will be made by generations to come.




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

Anyone wishing to find out more can contact



Industry Recognises Parliamentary Cider Champions

Industry Recognises Parliamentary Cider Champions

UK cider industry leaders gathered in Westminster on 24 May to recognise the MPs who champion cider companies, the people who work for them, the farmers growing cider apples and the rural communities that benefit from the Great British cider industry.

The event organised by the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM), was hosted by Sir Bill Wiggin MP, President of the All-Party Parliamentary Cider Group (APPCG).

MPs from cider growing areas including the West Midlands and South West were recognised for their long standing commitment to the industry. Cider Makers from across the regions presented MPs with a personalised gift box including a selection of British ciders and a commemorative cider glass.

Speaking at the event, James Crampton, Chair of the NACM commented that “the MPs who were recognised this evening go above and beyond to ensure that our small, rural industry is recognised for its great contribution to the UK and to British culture. It was great to finally gather people together after a gap of more than two years, to say thank you for their support and for making sure that cider making and cider apple growing remain a priority for the government. The continued support of these MPs is critical to sustain the livelihoods of the 11,500 people that rely on the industry”.

Sir Bill Wiggin MP, Member of Parliament for North Herefordshire, said, “it is always a delight to represent and promote Great British cider makers and the fantastic ciders that they produce.

“Cider making contributes to our rural counties including Herefordshire and as the UK are global market leaders we should be proud to support this fantastic British success story.”

Members of Parliament Recognised

Sir Bill Wiggin MP, North Herefordshire
Ian Liddell-Grainger MP, Bridgwater & West Somerset
Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP, Hereford & South Herefordshire
Harriett Baldwin MP, West Worcestershire
Rt Hon Mel Stride MP, Central Devon
Rebecca Pow MP, Taunton Deane
John Penrose MP, Weston-super-Mare

Cider Makers presenting Awards

James Crampton, Chair of the NACM and Corporate Affairs Director at Heineken UK
Helen Thomas, Managing Director at Westons Cider
Martin Thatcher, Managing Director at Thatchers Cider
Barny Butterfield, Owner at Sandford Orchards
Geoff Thompson and his daughter Eliza Thompson, Owner at Oldfields Cider
David and Louisa Sheppy, Managing Director at Sheppy’s Cider