Jane Anderson, Executive Officer of Cider Australia, discusses recent cider tasting events held in Canberra, Cider Australia’s AGM and why cider labeling is important.
Peak industry body Cider Australia met in Canberra in early March to move forward the agenda for the rapidly expanding cider industry.
Cider Australia has agreed a full and productive agenda for the coming year focused on ensuring the Federal Government’s taxation regime supports a sustainable cider industry in Australia, and strengthening the integrity of cider labelling laws.
The Annual General Meeting of Cider Australia, held at Gorman House Arts Centre on Thursday 6 March, was attended by 25 members including cider producers, apple and pear growers and manufacturers. Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) is a sponsor of Cider Australia and was represented at the meeting by Annie Farrow, Industry Services Manager.
The co-owner of Willie Smith’s Organic Apple Cider, Tasmania, Sam Reid, was elected as the new president of Cider Australia. The executive committee has broadened its coverage and now includes representation from Victoria, South Australia, NSW and Tasmania.
Discussion at the meeting confirmed that members of Cider Australia support actions that enable consumers to make an informed choice, such as stronger product labelling laws and complementary industry-led initiatives to educate and improve the information available to consumers.
Guest speakers from the Australian Taxation Office attended the meeting to answer technical questions about the taxation of cider.
Cider Australia appreciates the invaluable contribution to the association made by retiring committee members – former president James Kendell of Small Acres Cyder in NSW, and office bearers David Pickering and Neal Cameron.
The visit was rounded out with two superb cider tasting events.
A Tap Takeover was held at The Durham Hotel in Green Square, Kingston on the Thursday evening. More than 30 quality ciders were available for sampling by patrons – 10 on tap and 20 more in bottles – with cider festivities extending throughout the long weekend. More than a dozen cider makers attended the event, mingling with the crowd, talking about the art of cider making and appreciating the range of fine ciders on offer.
On Friday 7 March, Fyshwick Markets celebrated new season fruits by kicking off its Pear and Apple Festival at midday with a free cider tasting at Plonk Beer and Wine Shop.
Many cider producers were on hand to talk to consumers, and a Pork and Cider Sausage sizzle perfectly complimented the tastings. Sponsors of the annual Batlow CiderFest helped lead people to the cider by parking a giant apple next to Plonk!
The weekend-long Festival continued with more cider tastings, samples of fresh apple granita at Mart Deli, apple and pear cooking demonstrations by Andrew Haskins from 3seeds cooking school, live music and kids’ activities.
Cider Australia is looking forward to the year ahead. Members can expect to see more from the association on labelling and taxation, and Cider Australia encourages anyone with an interest in the cider industry to make contact about issues affecting their industry.
The annual Australian Cider Awards and Presentation Dinner and Australia Cider Festival will be held in Melbourne in late 2014, providing a great opportunity for the industry to show off its products, and for cider drinkers to learn more about the diverse range of ciders available in Australia.
Why is labeling important?
|Cider Australia’s goal as an organisation is about building a sustainable category through maintaining and improving the quality of ciders produced and marketed in Australia.There are two different definitions for cider and perry used in Commonwealth legislation. Labelling rules are governed by the definition in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Standard 2.7.3 permits cider and perry to contain fruit juice and fruit juice products, vegetable juice and vegetable juice products, sugars, honey, spices, alcohol and water.In contrast, the Commonwealth’s Wine Equalisation Tax legislation defines cider as a product made through the full or partial fermentation of apple and/or pear juice, with no added flavourings or colourings.
As a result of the two quite different definitions, cider producers face a complicated and, at times, confusing task in complying with the law, consumers are unable to make informed choices about what they are purchasing and the incentives to produce and market quality cider and perry are reduced.