By James Atkinson

Australia's new cider industry body is in the final stages of incorporation, and membership will be open to all industry stakeholders, according to president James Kendell (pictured).

Kendell told TheShout that 32 cider producers attended the first formal meeting in January of the organisation, which will be known as Cider Australia, to elect office bearers and establish aims and objectives.

Kendell, who is founder of Orange's Small Acres Cyder, has been joined in office by NSW Department of Primary Industries technical officer David Pickering, a long-time cider enthusiast who will take up the role of secretary.

"Now that cider as a category has grown so significantly over the last couple of years it's appropriate that we as cider makers form an association," Kendell said.

"There's a real need in Australia for us as producers to have one voice speaking to other industries that are involved in our supply chain, and also as a lobbying group to government."

"There's a need to market cider as a category, a beverage in its own right, with its own occasion," he added.

Kendell said full membership of the association will be open to commercial producers of any scale "including the big boys". Second tier associate memberships will be open to other industry stakeholders and cider enthusiasts. 

"One of the ideas will be some consumer education to explain the different processes around how cider can be made differently from a mass-produced perspective or traditional ways of producing ciders," Kendell said.

"We're also looking at how we might explain the differences between English-style ciders, the French-style ciders, and perhaps what's emerging as a style in Australia."

Amid debate over taxation of the cider category, Kendell said the association will be lobbying for the small producers' rebate in the Wine Equalisation Tax to be maintained.

He said Cider Australia will be heavily involved in running the Australia Cider Show, to be held in Orange, NSW on the 10th and 11th October, with an awards dinner and cider festival to follow in Sydney afterwards.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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