New cider body warns Govt against bringing in minimum pricing on alcohol ahead of the North

New cider body warns Govt against bringing in minimum pricing on alcohol ahead of the North

A new trade group for cider producers has said Irish people are becoming more discerning drinkers.

The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland has relaunched a trade group for cidermakers to represent the burgeoning industry here.

The Irish Cider Association has 15 members from across the sector, including a number of craft brewers.

It said its members are developing upscale products in response to changing consumer tastes, and small craft brands are flourishing.

Spokesman Jonathan McDade fears minimum unit pricing is a threat to the industry here if it's brought in south of the border, but not in the North.

Mr McDade said: "I think.the more immediate issue that we'd have is the fact that the Irish Government appears to be reneging on an initial commitment to only introduce minimum unit pricing in line with Northern Ireland.

"Recent statements from Government have stated that they are actually planning to go ahead to move in with minimum unit pricing ahead of any proposed legislation in Northern Ireland."

He said Irish people are drinking less in general, but paying more for premium products.

Mr McDade said: "I think it is part of a general trend throughout the alcohol industry. Alcohol consumption in Ireland has been declining for the past 25 years, but as a result, because Ireland is now classed as a mature alcohol market, people are looking more for quality rather than quantity and that's why there has been this premiumisation of the category in recent years."

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