By Andy Young

Cider Australia, the national body representing Australian pear and apple cider producers, has launched a petition calling on the government to apply country of origin labelling laws to cider.

Cider Australia president Sam Reid said the petition aims to prove to the government that consumers really do care where their alcoholic beverages come from.

"We applaud the government for improving the country of origin labelling requirements for many products," Reid said.

"The government, however, says that its research indicates that people don't prioritise alcohol as a product in need of clearer labelling and this petition is designed to show otherwise."

Reid added that he fears if the labelling is not introduced Australian producers will not be able to compete with those companies that make their cider from imported concentrate.

"Cheap ciders will dominate the category and eventually force producers using local ingredients to go out of business," Reid said.

"Not only will that impact on hundreds of cider industry employees but it will also reduce a valuable secondary revenue stream for so many apple and pear farmers from around Australia, putting the viability of many orchards into question."

Reid added that cider should be labelled in the same way that fruit juice is.

He said: "Fruit juice is quite appropriately covered by the new rules, and cider, which is fermented fruit juice, should also be required to indicate the proportion of ingredients grown in Australia.

"More than 70 per cent of the cider marketed in Australia is made using imported juice concentrate that is significantly cheaper than Australian grown fruit juice."

You can view and sign the petition via the website.

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The Shout Team

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

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