Cider Industry Calls on Government for Help

Article from The Drinks Business.

Paul Bartlett, chairman of the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM), delivered the message to Westminster this week. He said that a stable regulatory and fiscal regime plus "recognition of the unique nature of the cider industry" will enable growth in the UK and especially in export markets.

Bartlett told the audience of ministers, MPs and officals: "Investment by cider makers over many years means we are better placed to succeed over the long-term than ever before.

"In order to secure this opportunity we need regulatory stability, sensible restraint on duty and support in export markets. If we get this, we will do more for the rural communities we are part of and make a greater contribution in terms of duty and tax."

Bartlett added that despite "the most challenging period in living memory" investment has been made in new orchards, production infrastructure, new products and consumer communication.

He added: "Producers have shown their resilience and tenacity as well as quality in what has been a very tough year.

"Reduced consumer spending and more pub closures affect every sector; however the poor weather in the last year has been exceptional and is especially difficult for cider makers.

"The prospect of drought gave way to endless rain and depleted the apple crop by around a third. For some growers, conditions in the autumn were so poor it became a challenge to gather the harvest."

Despite the difficult conditions Bartlett added that a number of cider makers have also invested money to help build their presence in key markets like North America and Australia.

He said: "In September I suggested to the same audience that cider, as a British success story, had real potential to develop and grow multiple major markets overseas.

"That is starting to happen for cider makers of all scales and we will see significantly more if we can continue to plan and invest for the long-term because we have stability and restraint in the UK."


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