NACM director and policy adviser Bob Price said at last month's cider festival in Brogdale: "I am trying to encourage Kent cider makers to team up. You will have a united voice with politicians, in an area where most MPs belong to coalition parties. Without that voice, you are unlikely to be heard."
This has been the first year in which the NACM has sponsored a Kent cider event. "But Kent has a thriving cider industry and a strong heritage, as do Norfolk and Suffolk," said Price, adding that Brogdale, home to the National Fruit Collection, "could be the ideal location for evening meetings".
He suggested that, as the county's largest producer, Biddenden Vineyards "could take a lead in forming a group". But Biddenden managing director Julian Barnes told Grower: "We have always been quite individual.
"Maybe we should be more involved, but half the time you're so busy it doesn't come up. You risk talking instead of getting on with the job."