Five years on since Cider Australia launched their trust mark to help consumers recognise what makes Australian craft ciders unique, their president Warwick Billings says it’s time we really began to recognise what a seal of authenticity can mean for consumers and producers alike.

You’ve probably seen it countless times while sipping your favourite drink, but seldom given any great thought to what it means for you – or for the producer, manufacturer, region or country.

The it is the trust mark that’s increasingly found on drinks labels, waterstamped on images or on logos and badges to convey a stamp of approval that assures consumers or buyers that the product meets rigorous standards and, in some cases, commits to certain practices.

In Australia’s cider industry, president of Cider Australia and co-owner of Lobo Cider in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills Warwick Billings said it’s time we were all shaken from our slumber, took note of these trust marks and understood how important and advantageous our buying and consumption patterns can be.

“While trust marks are increasingly making their way onto product labelling and the like, they remain underdone in our general consciousness,” Warwick said.

“We’ve witnessed this in our sector since we at Cider Australia introduced our trust mark back in 2018, primarily to call out and highlight what makes Australian craft cider unique – and that’s authenticity.”

He noted that back then, it wasn’t easy for local cider drinkers to find out where the fruit in their bottles came from.

“Our trust mark answers that question. It tells you that the cider you are drinking is made from 100 percent Aussie-grown apples or pears, and that the cider meets Cider Australia’s rigorous quality standards.

“But more than that, the trust mark tells you that by choosing to drink the cider you hold in your hand, you’re supporting Australian fruit growers and their regional communities, you’re helping to build a sustainable craft cider industry in Australia and you’re playing your small part in job creation and the local economy.”

Back in March, the Independent Brewers Association (IBA) launched its own awareness campaign to reimpress what its seal means and the impact consumers can have.

At the time the IBA’s CEO Kylie Lethbridge said: “In the last few years… larger multinational breweries have increasingly been developing their own craft brands or acquiring successful smaller independent brewers so the need to differentiate is now more important than ever.

“We need to find a way to engage with the consumer directly, to build a relationship with them and to start the process of creating an understanding of what the seal of independence actually means. We want them to build an emotional connection with these family-owned, community-driven, sustainability-oriented, local businesses.”

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