UK cider makers "facing difficult times", MPs told

A parliamentary reception last might (12 September) heard calls for the government to back the cider industry in the face of rising duty.

Image: NACM
Image: NACM

National Association of Cider Makers chair Helen Thomas told the All-Party Parliamentary Cider Group: "Excise duty has increased by over 20% since 2010 and we are now 25% smaller than we were seven years ago. Cider makers are facing difficult times and are now making tough decisions, which may have a lasting impact on rural areas."

She added: "The announcement of a review into the alcohol structures for cider in the spring budget could have significant ramifications, and our ability to compete both in the UK and abroad remains unclear in a post-Brexit marketplace."

Set against this, Thomas, who is also managing director of Herefordshire-based Westons Cider, pointed out: "Interest in British cider has never been stronger and the UK market represents around 46% of all cider sold across the world."

Lords and MPs present were asked to sign up as "Cider Champions" to pledge their support for an industry that is key to the rural economy and communities.

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