Government says cider is key component of economic growth

Cider could become the next great British export following a transformation in the perception and popularity of the drink, which was once chiefly seen as a tipple for underage teenage drinkers and homeless addicts.

Quality British ciders are now a key element of the government’s plans for economic growth, with the overseas market squarely in its sights.

It is hoped that ciders could follow the global success which Scottish whiskey producers have enjoyed.

The department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and its agency UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) have published a plan to improve British exports, and cider’s growing status as a fashionable drink means it could enjoy a boom in overseas sales as its popularity crosses borders.

The plan says: “As one of the world’s leading cider producers, the UK is well placed to leverage this growing opportunity.

“Worldwide, cider sales are rising rapidly and grew by over 50% in both the USA and Australia in 2011-12.”

Paul Bartlett of the National Association of Cider Makers said he was thrilled the government was waking up to “a gem”, according to the Guardian.

He added: “There’s growth in Canada, the US, Australia and Scandinavia. And there are pockets in Asia, where hopefully the government are going to help. We are looking at Vietnam, Korea, China. It’s the holy grail to crack those markets.”

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