Gabe Cook, a former cidermaker at Westons and a communications officer for Bulmers at Heineken, is revamping the NACM website to better educate the UK about the countless wonders within the cider category.
He is the NACM’s second full-time member of staff after Fenella Tyler, formerly of Bulmers and Heineken, took over as chief executive in October 2015.
Previously the NACM existed solely through its members and had a rolling chairman – Martin Thatcher of Thatchers is currently chair, to be replaced by Helen Thomas of Westons in September – with no staff, but now it is bolstering its ranks and focusing on marketing for the first time.
Cook, whose first job was on a cider farm in Ross-on-Wye, told OLN: “It’s great that we now have full-time people in the industry to support the chair by being positive and proactive and making sure the industry is moving in the right direction and supporting the cidermakers
“We aim to ensure the cider industry’s key messages are heard by the people we want to hear them. That includes the trade and also a little bit of consumer as well – something the NACM has never done before.
“I am revamping the website, giving it a full rejig to make it a one-stop shop for information about the cider industry, a platform to tell cider’s amazing story and demonstrate the wonderful diversity of the industry.
“Our member companies through their communications will direct people towards it. It’s a two-way thing as we support the cidermakers.
“Through the website I am talking on behalf of these people. I will be telling each individual member’s story. We are a relatively small category and industry but we are very close knit and we work closely together for the benefit of cider.
“The biggest opportunity for cider is to educate consumers. It’s not all down to me but it’s a big focus for me. I am from ciderland. I grew up there. I talk about it all the time. There are so many great anecdotes about cider that interest me and I suspect they would interest a lot of people.”