CAMRA calls on MPs to enact change for cider makers

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is calling on the Chancellor and MPs to support UK cider makers, following the publication of its latest title Modern British Cider by Ciderologist Gabe Cook.

All 70 MPs that have makers from their constituencies featured in the book have been sent a copy of Modern British Cider by the Campaign, to help highlight to members the key issues facing small and independent cider makers.

Gabe also presents solutions to the problems facing these cider businesses that could be pursued by the Government to help them thrive.

These solutions are:
> A progressive duty system for small cider producers - the current 70hl duty exemption for the smallest of cider producers has been great for protecting small farm diversification but has also effectively acted as a glass ceiling for aspiring cider makers, preventing organic growth. We advocate for the retention of this exemption, and the introduction of Progressive Cider Duty above 70hl of production as part of the wider Alcohol Duty Review
> Raising the minimum juice content for cider- the current minimum juice content required to sell a product as cider is just 35%. A modest increase raising this to 50% will help improve cider’s value perception, integrity and reputation, create more competitiveness, and provide a renewed demand for acres of orchards bearing tannin-rich apples that are currently being wound down due to a lack of demand
> Ingredient labelling - ingredient listing for alcoholic drinks is currently not a legal requirement in the UK. Mandating signposting to a full list of ingredients should be introduced to ensure that consumers can be better informed about what their cider contains, allowing them to make the best choices for themselves

Author?Gabe Cook?said, “I am excited to be teaming up with CAMRA to?highlight?the?relevance?of cider with this comprehensive guide, and to have the opportunity to?explore?the incredible cider landscape and diversity?in the UK today.

“The industry still faces many challenges holding it back from achieving its full potential. I hope this book lends a voice to these causes and readers will join my calls to support the industry. Britain is blessed with so much cider heritage, which we desperately need to conserve, but also wonderful innovation, fun and boundary-pushing boldness which we need to nurture. There truly is a cider for everyone.”

Nik Antona, CAMRA National Chairman, said: “We are very excited to have teamed up with Gabe Cook on this latest title, and to have this opportunity to reach out to MPs and show them the very real impact being had on their constituency's cider industry. The Government will be announcing the Budget on 27 October – now is the time to deliver reforms that will help British cider makers thrive.”

Modern British Cider is a definitive guide that celebrates the wonderful world of British cider today, looking at how cider has formed an integral part of the UK’s landscape. The book analyses the challenges and opportunities that will influence cider’s ability to innovate and grow in the future. Author Gabe Cook, known as the Ciderologist, is the leading writer, educator and broadcaster on all matters cider.