‘TRUE’ CIDERS SHOULD BE TAXED LIKE WINE: CA

In Drinks Cider by Clyde Mooney

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Cider Australia has resolved to further champion the benefits of artisanal products in the booming category, pronouncing a drive to improve labelling and install a version of the WET tax.

Following its recent AGM, where Sam Reid was returned as President, the organisation representing all major cider-producing regions in Australia declared a fight in the debate on alcohol taxation.

“Cider Australia’s goal is to build a sustainable cider category, and this will only happen if cider is taxed fairly and if consumers appreciate and are exposed to a diverse and sophisticated range of ciders”, said Reid, who is also co-owner of Tasmania’s Willie Smith’s Cider.

Willie Smiths cider“Local producers will not survive if alcohol tax reform is blind to the wide ranging benefits of cider production for growers, regional economies and tourism.”

The taxation argument centres around true cider’s similarity to wine, with similar benefits and production constraints as the grape wine sector.

Cider Australia is calling for consideration of a similar WET (Wine Equalisation Tax) system, recognising its difference to other forms of alcohol – most importantly, the RTD-style cider products prominent on the market.

As a fast-growing category, quality cider is in increasing demand, and the group hopes to further educate consumers and advocate for specialised local producers by means of changes in labelling, through the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.