The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Damian Hinds MP has visited Thatchers Cider.
The Exchequer Secretary met Martin Thatcher, managing director and fourth generation cidermaker of Thatchers Cider, who is currently chair of the National Association of Cider Makers. Keen to see the apple harvest at first hand, and talk to cider-makers about the issues and opportunities facing the industry, Mr Hinds also met Fenella Tyler of Heineken UK, and Barney Butterfield of Sandford Orchards.
During the visit, the NACM took the opportunity to talk to Mr Hinds about Government support for the cider industry, including the current duty exemption for cider-makers producing less than 70hl of cider for sale each year.
Mr Hinds also saw how Thatchers Cider continues to invest in its cider-making facilities at Myrtle Farm, including a new tank building which will have capacity for 36 125,000 litre storage vessels, required to meet the increasing demand for the Somerset firm’s ciders.
During the tour of Myrtle Farm, Damian Hinds visited The Railway Inn, Sandford, which has recently been re-opened by Thatchers Cider following a major investment. Having spent 18 years working in the pub, brewing and hotel industry, this was of particular interest to Mr Hinds.
Martin Thatcher says, “Cider is a British favourite but we are an industry in need of support. This year’s 2% duty cut from Government was a welcome first step and as a result our industry has continued to make long-term investments which will ultimately lead to further opportunities for growth.
“We look forward to working with HM Treasury to ensure that, with their support, cider makers across the UK can continue to take advantage of opportunities to grow their businesses. Despite the difficult market conditions that we are all currently experiencing, we are continuing to invest in our local economies through the planting of new orchards, the construction of new facilities and the creation of jobs”
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Damian Hinds said:
“Cider makers play a crucial role in our rural economy, particularly in places like the South West. That’s why I’m pleased that our action to support cider makers is seeing results.
“As we work with cider makers across the country over the coming months, we will seek to find ways to support them in the future and help maintain the wonderful choice and diversity we have in cider.”