We invited all six of the prospective parliamentary candidates for North Herefordshire to attend a ‘Cider Hustings’ at the Three Counties Cider Shop, Ledbury on Saturday 27th May.
Four candidates attended, Roger Page (Labour), Jeanie Falconer (Liberal Democrats), Ellie Chowns (Greens) and Sasha Norris (Independent). The event was chaired by Gabe Cook.
We heard the candidates views on:
NACM Manifesto for the cider/perry drinks category: fair excise treatment, protecting British orchards, support for rural communities, and growth through export;
Impacts of the current HMRC Alcohol Structures Consultation - the consultation proposes a new still cider and perry band below 7.5% abv. How will this affect traditional craft cider and perry producers? Will it remove the 7000 litre duty threshold?
Post-Brexit agriculture - risks and opportunities of removal of Common Agricultural Policy agri-environment support (£3.0bn/year) for farmers and growers. Will traditional standard orchards and the ecosystem services they provide be at risk if farmers are no longer paid to maintain them?
Deposit Return Scheme - litter costs the taxpayer between £717 and £850 million a year to clear up, and litter from fast food and drink packaging has increased by 20% (CLG Committee report on litter & fly tipping, March 2015). A DRS is proposed in Scotland, why not introduce a similar scheme in England and Wales?
Sugar, obesity and public health (links to item 1), clearer labelling etc….
People after the Hustings said how much they appreciated the candidate's entering into the spirit of the event with such good humour, honesty and energy.
Photos by Dan Barker.