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Save our small cider makers!

By chief hack Ignatius Rake

Posted June 10, 2015
camra to help uk small cider makers under threat from eu tax
Squeeze apples: Not our small cider makers. (Check bottom for credit)

CAMRA to present Downing St with 26,000-signature petition to save UK's small cider makers.

The UK's Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) will today (10/6/15) present a petition with more than 26,000 signatures to 10 Downing St, calling on the government to support the country's cider sector by rejecting an EU tax on small producers.

According to a CAMRA press release, "the EU has demanded that the government remove an existing tax exemption for small cider makers who produce fewer than 70 hl of cider a year, or around 33 pints a day".

These producers, CAMRA notes, "are mainly hobbyists and farm-gate producers, selling under £10,000 [$15,450] worth of cider a year, which means that the proposed tax bill of up to £2,700 a year would have a huge impact".

CAMRA, along with of us here at the Rake & Herald, "fully supports the availability of real cider and perry and is concerned that this action would make small-scale cider production uneconomic and lead to wide-spread closures, seriously damaging a small but vibrant industry".

The petition, the press release continues, has garnered the support of "a number of MPs and MEPs, who have also written to the European commissioner and treasury about this issue".

The petition will be delivered at 15:00 local time by CAMRA representatives alongside David Warburton, Conservative MP for Somerton and Frome in Somerset, an English county noted for its cider production.

"The European Union's demand to increase tax costs for small cider producers will force many to close," says Andrea Briers, who chairs the CAMRA National Cider and Perry Committee.

"If these producers are driven out of business, it will dramatically reduce consumer choice and cause irreparable damage to one of the nation's most historic industries."

So back off, Brussels, and leave our small cider makers alone.

Got that?

See also Real cider sees real upswing, posted 12/10/12.

Ignatius Rake
is a freelance journalist, geographer and world traveller who has visited more than 70 countries on six continents. He has written on numerous subjects for various publications and can be contacted by email here.

Picture credit

Top and thumb: Traditional cider making in the New Forest by Mike Faherty.

For licensing information click the above link.

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