As part of its biannual Cider Month celebration the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has joined forces with makers of real cider and perry from across the UK to call for tax reforms that will support high-quality cider.
The consumer rights group has created an open letter urging the Treasury to increase the minimum juice content of cider – the amount of fresh juice a drink needs to contain to be classed as cider – in order to support makers of high-quality ciders and perries.
Current tax rules only require cider to contain 35% juice, meaning drinks topped up with more water or concentrates than freshly pressed juice can be counted as cider for tax purposes, a situation which the Campaign thinks is misleading to consumers. As strong support grows across the real cider industry, more producers are being encouraged to sign, with the letter due to be delivered at the end of May.
Commenting on the campaign, Hiranthi Cook, Founder and Cider Maker of Cidentro Cider House said: “As a new, small cider maker based in Leicestershire producing cider from English apples, using 100% pressed juice, not from concentrate, I’m all for the government increasing the minimum juice content for cider in the UK to at least 50%. Furthermore, I would like to see the government introducing a separate category for ciders made using over 90% pressed juice content and not from concentrate which I believe would go a long way in informing consumers of the quality of the cider they are choosing to buy and differentiate the qualities of ciders on the market.”
CAMRA’s Real Ale, Cider and Perry Campaigns Director Gillian Hough added:
“CAMRA are campaigning for a lasting change to give consumers confidence that when they buy a product marketed as cider it contains at least 50% fresh pressed juice. We welcome the Government’s decision to expand cider’s ‘farmgate exemption’ into a small producers scheme and are asking that they step forward to support the makers of high quality, high juice ciders and perries by increasing the minimum juice content for duty purposes.”