Sir Bill Wiggin MP has joined the cider industry in calling on the Government to futureproof the economic and cultural contribution of an integral and distinct part of our great British heritage.  

Sir Bill attended a reception hosted by the cider industry in Westminster, highlighting the important role the cider industry plays in the UK and in areas like North Herefordshire.  

At the event, Sir Bill heard about how crucial it is that proposed changes to alcohol duty supports the cider industry, which is facing unprecedented conditions, threatening centuries of rural tradition. Cider has declined 44% in the last 12 years, with its share of the total alcohol market now standing at only 4.6%.  

Sir Bill therefore calls on the Treasury to ensure that proposals encourage cider making, avoid increasing duty on the majority of ciders and encourage greater innovation through fairer treatment of fruit ciders.  

From farms to pubs and shops, cider makes a big contribution to the British economy supporting thousands of jobs across the UK, as well as being a favourite in pubs across the country. Cider is integral to rural life in the UK – without the industry, 16,500 acres of apple orchards and 35% of all UK-grown apples would be at risk, as would the communities that rely on them. Every year some 500,000 tourists visit cider makers across the Country against the backdrop of their stunning cider apple orchards. 

Sir Bill said: “The cider industry plays a huge role in our heritage, culture and economy – whether it’s supporting livelihoods or simply being enjoyed in pubs up and down the country. 

“The new alcohol duty system is set to be finalised shortly, and the Government must fulfil its promise to secure the future of this important industry. 

“Therefore, I’m joining calls for the Government to stick to its pledge to reduce the duty on apple cider which will support cider makers, farmers growing cider apples and publicans alike.  

“It’s vital that people show their support for this industry as every voice matters, so I urge constituents to learn more about the role cider plays in supporting communities like ours.”