20th May 2015
Small cider makers under serious threat from the European Union (EU), which has demanded the UK Government remove its tax exemption for small producers. Ashley Fox, Conservative MEP for the South West of England, is supporting CAMRA's (Campaign for Real Ale) campaign to reverse this dangerous ruling.
Both Mr Fox and CAMRA fully support real cider and perries and are incredibly concerned that the proposed action will see small producers landed with a bill of up to £2,700 every year, making production uneconomical and lead to wide-spread closures.
80% of Britain's 500+ cider makers are currently small producers. This tax hike will severely impact on consumer choice and will cause irreparable damage to one of the nation's most historic industries.
"I would hope that as many people as possible will support this campaign and sign CAMRA's petition," comments Mr Fox. "Cider production is a way of life and part of the fabric of the South West. By driving out the small scale producers we will lose a whole swathe of quality South West Cider Makers, as well as their products."
"This assault on South West Cider is simply wrong and needs rethinking. I want the Government to stick up for the region and challenge this ruling."
Tom Stainer, Head of Communications at CAMRA adds: "The majority of real cider comes from small scale producers and has long been part of rural tradition and culture. The proposed action by the European Union is wholly disproportionate, given that a small producer selling up to 33 pints a day has no capacity to affect EU trade to any meaningful degree. 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."
The petition has so far secured over 20,000 signatures and is due to be presented to 10 Downing Street on 10th June 2015. Please support the campaign and sign the at petition HERE.