The Federal Government announced reforms to the WET rebate in May 2016 that will tighten eligibility for the rebate and reduce the annual rebate cap. Full details can be found on the Australian Taxation Office website.
In May 2018, Cider Australia released a new position on cider taxation:
Cider Australia does not support any changes to the alcohol tax system while recent significant reforms to the WET producer rebate work their way through the system.
In line with these reforms, we believe that only cider and perry made from 100% Australian apple and pear juice should be eligible for the producer rebate given its production directly benefits rural and regional Australia.
We support all boutique and craft alcohol producers in Australia and policies that reduce the burden of taxation on them.
We also support the responsible consumption and marketing of alcoholic beverages and initiatives that aim to reduce alcohol-related harm.
Food standards code and labelling laws
Country of Origin Labelling
Cider is like wine and is made from fermented juice, in this case the juice of apples and pears. The origin of the juice in cider is an important consideration for many consumers, and Cider Australia believes that labels on cider should identify the country of origin of the juice.
The Federal Government introduced a new Country of Origin Labelling system in 2016. Cider, as an alcoholic beverage, is classed as a non-priority food under the new rules. Non-priority foods must include a country of origin claim on labels. As a ‘substantially transformed’ product, the country of origin statement for cider must relate to where the product was ‘made’ (fermented), rather than where the ingredients were ‘grown’. As a result, cider labels do not need to identify the origin of the juice.
Definition of cider
Did you know there is no minimum juice content in products labelled as cider in Australia? This is is a stark contrast to the situation in other key cider producing countries such as the UK – which has a 35% minimum juice requirement, and the United States – where cider must contain at least 50% juice.
Cider Australia advocates for reform of the definition of cider and perry in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code to ensure what is stated on the label aligns with consumer expectations, and the product composition requirements in comparable international markets such as the UK and United States.
Cider Australia believes that a product should not be labelled as cider or perry if it contains:
- less than 50% by weight of apple and/or pear juice, and/or
- alcohol specifically to increase ABV (to ensure RTD-style beverages are not called cider)