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TCCPA Welcomes Government U-turn on Hospitality Alcohol Take-Away Sales

The TCCPA issued a statement on the morning of 3 November, urging the NACM to join with CAMRA and SIBA in calling for a U-turn on the ban on take-away alcohol sales from hospitality venues in the forthcoming lockdown period. The statement, printed out in full below, was also sent to MPs in relevant constituencies, and issued to the media.

During the afternoon of 3 November, the legal document detailing the regulations has been published, SI 2020 1200, including a relaxation of the ban, providing the alcohol is pre-sold either on the phone, online or by post, and that it is delivered, or collected, with the purchaser not venturing inside.

Simon Day, chair of the TCCPA, welcomed the news, as did fellow TCCPA committee member, Rory Souter, The Cotswold Cider Co. “I’m glad that in the short time available we were able to have our voice heard, and to be in touch with our MPs,” Souter said.

The NACM continues to work with related trade bodies on behalf of the industry.

Full details available in Paragraph 17 of The Health Regulations, SI 2020 1200.

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Statement from the Three Counties Cider & Perry Association on the proposed new restriction preventing take away alcohol sales from the hospitality sector

 The Three Counties Cider & Perry Association is urging the National Association of Cider Makers to join with SIBA and CAMRA in calling on the government to urgently review and reverse its proposal to ban off-sales from pubs under the lockdown legislation coming into force on Thursday 5 November.

The prevention of viral transmission is of vital importance, and the members of the TCCPA fully support all reasonable measures designed to address this. However, the TCCPA, representing a large number of small and medium-sized cider producers, believes the new, additional regulation has the potential to threaten the survival of cider businesses, many already badly hit by the consequences of the pandemic.

Commenting on the proposed ban, TCCPA committee member, Rory Souter of The Cotswold Cider Co states, “Pub off-sales were a lifeline for a lot of small cidermakers during the summer lockdown and it seems entirely unreasonable that they are being banned now. This does not make a level playing field. The producers who will have the advantage will be the multi-national corporations with their protected supermarket listings.”

The TCCPA believes that pubs are the life-blood of communities. Local cidermakers provide variety, quality and choice to their loyal customers. In doing so, vast swathes of the craft cider industry rely on pubs for their survival.

In addition, many pubs and restaurants have diversified into local shops, providing a valuable lifeline in rural areas for those with little access to other shops. This has helped to stop vulnerable people mixing out of their very local communities, vitally important while travel is being discouraged during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Souter continues,  “We can’t stand by whilst punitive legislation is passed that will endanger the viability of the craft cider industry and further weaken the social fabric of our communities.”

The Three Counites Cider & Perry Association therefore request that the Government:

  1. Permit off-sales of alcohol in closed containers from all licensed premises as during the previous lockdown.
  2. Clarify that online sales from cidermakers, delivered to consumers’ homes can continue as they did in the previous lockdown.
  3. Clarify that cidermakers with an on-site shop operating Click & Collect or cider shop pick-up can continue to sell cider to consumers.
  4. Consider bottle shops and shops run in cider premises as off-licenses, thus as essential retail and allowed to remain trading.

The TCCPA membership encompasses over 80 cider producers, making it the largest representative body in the UK cider industry in terms of numbers but not volume.