October 22, 2013
With local ciders winning the top awards for the first time in the Australian Cider Awards, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) congratulates the winners and remains committed to its support of the apple industry.
DPI development officer, Kevin Dodds, said the growing cider boom represents an opportunity for value adding and diversification in the apple industry.
“Cider production offers local apple growers a potential market for fruit which is deemed unsuitable for the fresh market, “Mr Dodds said. “Typically 10 to 20 per cent of the fresh market crop goes to juice processors for crushing and pressing to produce apple juice and apple juice concentrate.
“For many growers juicing does not cover the cost of production but growth in the Australian cider and perry (pear cider) market means that there is an increasing demand for locally produced juice.
“As demand increases we can expect to see the development of a new market for Australian juice fruit which should lead to an increase in the market price for juice.
Mr Dodds said that opportunities for growers exist in the potential for diversification and value-adding with growers directly involved in the cider and perry business.
“The Batlow Premium cider brand is a good example of growers forming a partnership to diversify and add value to their produce, “he said.
“During judging for the Australian Cider Awards at the Orange Agricultural Institute this month, I had the opportunity to taste a range of ciders from six Australian states, France, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Belgium and Germany.
“This educational experience gave me a better appreciation for the range of flavours and aromas produced by the different apple and pear varieties and we predict that future development will see the growth of a market for traditional cider varieties. “Just as winegrapes are best suited to wine production, cider apples and pears are best suited to cider production.”
“Local consumers have an appreciation of different wine styles and grape varieties and as consumers develop an understanding of and taste for cider it is anticipated that there will be a growing demand for cider apple and pear varieties.”
DPI has researched and documented cider production and apple varieties in Australia.
For the list of prize winners from the 2013 Australian Cider Awards, including a trophy winning cider from Orange, visit the cider industry website, http://cideraustralia.org.au/