Cider producers are lobbying the government to hold off on any duty rises on cider.
Cider attracts half the duty rate of beer, but producers believe any hike would damage the current high growth the industry is experiencing, as well as harming the apple industry.
John Mills, MD of Gaymer Cider Company, said: “Cider comes from English orchards and 45% of the UK’s apple production is used for it.
“It takes four or five years for a tree to get the
kind of apples we want. If the price goes up a lot it could kill off the growth.”
Mills said if higher duty was enforced he hoped it wouldn’t be over the rate of inflation.
“The cider industry is one tenth of the size of the beer industry so doesn’t have the same economies of scale.”
The decision on duty will be made clear at the Budget announcement next month.