Drinks Ireland|Cider, the representative group for Ireland’s cider producers within Ibec, has welcomed the introduction of an excise relief programme of up to 50% for independent small producers of cider and other fermented beverages.
The announcement was made in the Minister’s Budget 2022 speech where he stated that his officials will work with the cider sector to allow for the implementation of this relief in next year’s Finance Bill.
Seamus O’Hara, the chair of Drinks Ireland|Cider and founder and CEO of Carlow Brewing Company, which produces a range of cider brands including Falling Apple and Craigies, said, “There are at least a dozen craft cider producers scattered across Ireland that will benefit greatly with this reduction, enabling further investment, job creation and innovation.
"The move will benefit the wider cider sector by allowing expansion of, and greater consumer interest in, the category. It will also result in downstream benefits to the wider economy, particularly in retail, hospitality, and tourism," he said.
O’Hara noted that this decision is timely in the context of the challenges facing the cider sector.
"Ireland already has the third highest rate of excise on cider in the EU/UK. The sector has also been hard hit by the pandemic, with cider’s market share of beverages falling from 7.4% in 2019 to 6.9% in 2020,” he said.
Substantial Lobbying Campaign
Jonathan McDade, head of Cider at Drinks Ireland added that this announcement follows a substantial lobbying campaign by Drinks Ireland|Cider, which called for the excise relief programme, currently enjoyed by craft brewers, to be extended to the craft cider sector.
"Since that excise reduction over 15 years ago, the number of indigenous craft breweries in Ireland has increased from eight to 75. We look forward to engaging with the Department and the Revenue Commissioners on the practicalities of introducing the scheme in the coming months,” he said.