Own-label and "commodity" ciders have fallen foul of a new cider definition introduced by the government this week and could soon be taxed at the higher made-wine duty rate.

Under the new definition, cider will have to contain a minimum juice content of 35% and a fruit sugar or "specific gravity" level of at least 1,033 degrees to stay in the current tax bracket.

Most ciders would be unaffected, said the National Association of Cider Makers, but Gaymer Cider Company said some of its branded white ciders and own-label ciders would need to be reviewed.

Major cider brands said the Treasury amendment, in effect from 1 September, would help raise the quality of cider in the UK.

David Healey, MD of The Cornish Cyder Farm, said: "As a small producer we would say it's overdue."

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