Governor Cuomo signs bill to allow licenses for NY Farm Cideries

By WBNG News

Governor Cuomo signs bill to allow licenses for NY Farm Cideries

October 17, 2013 Updated Oct 17, 2013 at 2:48 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday signed the Farm Cideries bill that establishes a new license for farm cideries similar to the licenses already available to farm wineries, breweries and distilleries.

According to a news release from Cuomo's office:

This legislation follows through on promises made to farm cideries after the NYS Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit. Today’s signing also coincides with the beginning of CiderWeek NY, featuring nine days of events throughout New York City and the Hudson Valley, aimed at promoting New York’s ciders. For more information on CiderWeek NY, which will last from October 18 to 27, visit http://www.ciderweekny.com/.

“New York’s agricultural products are some of the best in the world, and today we are delivering on our promise to help growing farm cideries succeed in this state,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Farm Cideries bill, coupled with events like CiderWeek NY, promotes the sale of hard cider made from crops right here in New York and add to the tourism experience that is fall in the Empire State. We will continue to use the TasteNY brand to help all of our agricultural entrepreneurs thrive and stay in New York.”

Senator David Valesky, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business said, “This is a great opportunity to further leverage New York State's extraordinary agricultural assets. New York State apples are high-quality and delicious, and expanding the market through cideries is win for everyone. I commend the Governor for recognizing the potential in this industry and making it a priority.”

The Farm Cideries bill authorizes the establishment and licensure of farm cideries for the manufacture and sale of cider made from crops grown in New York State and would exclude licensed farm cideries from the sales tax information return filing requirements. In order to obtain a farm cidery license, the hard cider must be made exclusively from apples grown in New York State and no more than 150,000 gallons may be produced annually. Farm cideries will be allowed to offer tastings of and sell not only cider, but also beer, wine, and spirits made from New York products. In addition, because farm cideries may also sell products such as mustards, sauces, jams, jellies, souvenirs, artwork, crafts and other gift items, these businesses, much like farm wineries, will become destination locations that will promote tourism within their communities. Also, the need for apples in the manufacture of New York State labeled cider would create a sustained demand for products from New York’s farmers.

The Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit, hosted by Governor Cuomo identified an increased interest in the production of hard cider in New York State. New York has already established licenses for farm producers of wine, spirits and beer, but not for cider. This bill provides small craft cider makers with additional opportunities to highlight and market their products. The provisions of the new bill are modeled on similar provisions for farm breweries enacted in 2012.

The farm winery and farm distillery licensing programs have been an integral part of promoting these industries in New York.

The law will take effect in 90 days.

Dean Norton, President of New York Farm Bureau said, “The new Farm Cidery License is a boost for our local orchards and cider makers who are looking to diversify and offer value added products to consumers. It is an exciting time to be a New York farmer, and New York Farm Bureau thanks Governor Cuomo for providing additional market opportunities for the state’s outstanding apple orchards.”

Sara Grady, Vice President of Programming at Glynwood, an agricultural non-profit in the Hudson Valley, said, “We are thrilled to see the Governor’s support for farm-based hard cider production in New York State. Cider is an agricultural product, and expansion of this industry will increase the the visibility, profile, and profitability of New York orchards. The Farm Cideries bill and the ongoing support from New York State for craft cider production will allow the number of hard cider producers to grow, thereby creating new opportunities for apple production, and ultimately establishing cider as the signature beverage of New York State."
 

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