Collaboration key to fruitful future

New chair of producers’ group outlines vision for the industry

Gordon Johncox
Gordon Johncox, chair of the NACM, called on MPs and ministers to back the industry.

COLLABORATION can help deliver an innovative and sustainable future for the cider industry – that was the message from the new chair of the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM).

Speaking to members of the organisation and attendees at the All-Party Parliamentary Cider Group last month, Gordon Johncox, chief executive of Aston Manor Cider, outlined his vision to ensure a “sustainable future for producers, whatever their scale”.

He called for a fair and balanced regulatory environment for cider makers to operate in; asked for support from MPs, ministers and officials to back the UK industry; and promoted the need for a collaborative approach to give the industry the best opportunity to flourish.

Speaking about becoming chair of the NACM, he said: “I’ve enjoyed a significant amount of my career in the cider industry and a great part of my life living in the cider heartland, so I am relishing the opportunity to lead the industry.

“No matter the size of the cider maker, everyone is committed to apples and agriculture – that is the most important message I want to get across. The industry is facing a number of complex challenges, but through a united approach we can certainly deliver a future that is innovative and sustainable.

“We need an excise duty structure that allows producers to grow, a robust examination of evidence in all policy issues, and, of course, cider makers to have the common goal to celebrate this diverse industry that provides for every consumer and occasion – here in the UK and across the world.”

Gordon, who was managing director of Magners GB before joining Aston Manor Cider, takes over as chair of the NACM from Helen Thomas of Westons Cider, and will hold the position for two years.

Fenella Tyler, chief executive of the NACM, said: “Gordon has been the deputy chair for two years and has already made a significant contribution.

“We expect he will continue to do great work to advance the interests of all cider markets for the benefits of all cider drinkers.”