Letter: A drop of profits for cider apples

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The Independent Online
Sir: Farmers are constantly being told to co-operate and improve their marketing if they want to succeed. This is as true of cider apples as any other commodity.

Growers who are currently being offered prices as low as pounds 66 per ton should realise that the minimum price for cider apples in France is now FFr775 per ton (about pounds 91). Concentrated dessert apples from Eastern and Southern Europe are available more cheaply here, but few cider makers admit to using them.

Cider sales and profits are at an all-time high, yet only 1 per cent of what the consumer spends on the drink in the UK reaches cider apple growers. Now is surely the time to insist that the big three cider makers stop using their technical monopoly to suppress prices, and start paying prices that encourage more planting and save on the balance of payments.

Yours faithfully,




10 October