Regular readers of this blog and twitter account will be aware that Orchard Origins fully supported CAMRA’s call to parliament to appeal against an EU proposal to end the small cidermakers’ duty exemption, and in Tuesday’s budget George Osborne announced that it will be retained. This excellent news at it means that those of us who make fewer that 7,000 litres of cider per year remain exempt from paying duty. This matters a great deal, not only because it means less paperwork, but because those of us who cherish small, traditionally managed orchards can continue to derive some revenue from their produce. This really matters, because it costs money to maintain orchards properly and unless they continue to have tangible financial value we will continue to see their decline. We can’t just rely on wealthy hobbyists, we need traditional orchards to remain a part of the rural economy. Their presence matters to farmers more than many realise, since well-managed orchards provide reservoirs of pollinators and predators in landscapes dominated by monocultures. They are also very beautiful. Show your support by buying cider from small producers and buying organic from the big names. Better still, come along to one of Orchard Origins’ events and buy ours!