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Craft Cider Sector Urges Further Action in Wake of Covid-19

A tumultuous week for the cider industry as the impact of coronavirus began to be felt in earnest was brought to a close with the craft cider sector preparing to brief the National Association of Cider Makers on the needs of its members ahead of further drinks and hospitality industry talks on Monday 23 March.

Simon Day, chair of the Three Counties Cider & Perry Association has asked for specific concerns from TCCPA members to be shared with him by 10am Monday. The NACM represents the cider community in cross-sector talks with the British Beer & Pub Association, Wine & Spirits Trade Association, Scotch Whisky Association, and UKHospitality, and issues will be collated and forwarded.

“We are working with the NACM to ensure the government are aware of our concerns for cash flow and business interruption and our request for direct help regarding duty and VAT payments for our members,” says Simon.

The raft of regulatory measures throughout the week concluded on Friday with VAT deferrals and an economic lifeline to those in employment. “The suspension or cancellation of alcohol duty is absolutely vital to the survival of the craft end of the cider industry,” says Rory Souter, the Cotswold Cider Company. “This will be one of the further measures we will be urging the NACM to raise again.”

The week that began with postponement of CraftCon 2020 due to anticipated fall-out from coronavirus on Monday 16 March, continued with the TCCPA joining with the other two main regional cider associations, the South West of England Cider Association and the Welsh Perry & Cider Society on Tuesday 17 March to call on the NACM to represent the needs of their members – see here – and to work together with fellow producer and hospitality associations.

The NACM launched its own Covid-19 update page on 18 March before writing to the Prime Minister on 19 March, calling for a number of measures, including payment holidays for various taxes and asking for further clarity on how businesses are defined to ensure small and medium cider producers are eligible for the business support measures being outlined.

“I’m looking forward to hearing from our members what they would like the NACM to pursue,” says Simon. “Please get in touch, and please complete the brief survey we have issued. I’m also looking forward to continuing our alliance with SWECA and WPCS as we seek to ensure the craft cider sector is properly represented at this crucial time.”

RESOURCES

If answers are not forthcoming via its page or the links thereof, the NACM has also invited any cidermaker to contact it on info@cideruk.com

Those wishing to submit concerns are asked to email simon.day@haygrove.co.uk

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