By James Atkinson

A new Cider Australia executive committee has vowed to strengthen the integrity of labelling laws to ensure the industry's future is not jeopardised by 'fake' alcopop-style cider.

The lack of legislation governing the labelling of cider has long been a bugbear of producers and importers of traditional cider, and was on the agenda again last week when Cider Australia – the peak body representing dozens of cider and perry producers – held its AGM in Canberra.

The co-owner of Tasmanian organic apple cider Willie Smith’s, Sam Reid (pictured), was voted as president of Cider Australia.

Reid said he and his new committee, which includes representation from Victoria, South Australia, NSW and Tasmania, had agreed on a full agenda to lobby for the best interests of producers and consumers.

“The AGM confirmed our focus on ensuring the Federal Government's taxation regime supports a sustainable cider industry in Australia, and strengthening the integrity of cider labelling laws," he said.

“Addressing these issues is crucial for the continuing sustainable development of a quality led cider category in Australia, which benefits regional economies around the nation.”

“Our goal is for consumers to understand more about cider production and the differences between ciders, and for the label to support consumer choice.

“At the moment, it is not possible to tell what is in a beverage labelled cider – a lot of popular 'ciders' contain nothing but artificial flavours and sweeteners, allowing them to be sold quite cheaply.

“It is important that there is credibility in the labelling laws to allow consumers to make informed choices on the products they drink."

Reid thanked the outgoing executive committee members for their invaluable contribution to Cider Australia during a period of rapid growth in the sector: James Kendell, from Small Acres Cyder; David Pickering, from CiderOz; and Neal Cameron, from Australian Brewery.

“Cider Australia is proud of the work done to date to establish the industry at the forefront of consumers’ minds," Reid said.

“If we are successful in our fight for better labelling laws, it will give the industry even more confidence to keep investing in innovative new products that support local communities and value-add to farming districts across Australia."

Cider Australia Executive Committee

President – Sam Reid, Willie Smith's Organic Cider (TAS)

Vice Presidents – Warwick Billings, LOBO Cider (SA) and Sean Pendergast, Bilpin Cider (NSW)

Secretary – Nyall Condon, Flying Brick Cider Co (VIC)

Treasurer – Karina Dambergs, Dickens Cider (TAS)

Marketing Manager – Rich Coombes, Batlow Cider (NSW)

Website Manager – Mark Ellis (VIC)

The Shout Team

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