Campaign Win! Government back small cider producers
CAMRA's campaign to support small cider producers secured a fantastic win in the Chancellor's 2015 Budget with a firm commitment to uphold the current tax exemption for small cider producers "until and unless a replacement scheme is established" in the red book (read in full here under section 1.215).
The announcement follows the presentation of a 26,000 signature petition to 10 Downing Street on the 10th June.
CAMRA fully supports the production and availability of real cider and perries and is delighted that the Government has committed their support as well. The exemption has been in place since cider duty was introduced and is absolutely vital to supporting the production and availability of quality real cider. Removing the exemption would have imposed a new tax burden of up to £2,700 on Britain's smallest cider producers, many of whom sell less than £10,000 worth of cider a year.
However, there is more work now to be done. On Tuesday the 7th July CAMRA representatives met with both the European Commissioner's office a number of supportive MEPs. It is only by amending the European Directive on Excise Duty that the UK Government can uphold their promise to retain this exemption. CAMRA will be working hard to feed into the Consultation into the Directive as well as persuading the European Commission to adopt changes to support small cider producers.
A huge thanks to everyone who has signed the petition, lobbied their MPs to sign EDM 214, wrote to their MEPs and shared this campaign!
Why this campaign matters
- Someone producing less than 70hl (12,000 pints) will generally be making less than £10,000 a year in sales. This means the tax exemption only applies to very small businesses, such as hobbyists or farm-gate producers. If a duty were to be levied on these producers it would make their operations uneconomic and lead to wide-spread closure.
- 80% of Britain's 500+ cider makers are currently small producers. A tax will severely impact on consumer choice and will cause irreparable damage to one of the nation's most historic industries.
- An exemption from this duty is essential to supporting the growth of a vibrant but still small cider and perry market.
- A tax charge of up to £2,700 would drive many small cider producers out of business costing jobs, harming the countryside and dramatically reducing consumer choice.
- A small producer selling up to 33 pints a day has no capacity to affect EU trade to any meaningful degree.