I want to take a moment to talk about where we are:
The Northwest Cider Association supports the Black Lives Matters Movement, and we stand with all of those acknowledging and protesting against the systemic, violent oppression of Black Americans by police in our country. This isn’t a political issue, this is a moral issue. We are excited about Oregon Cider Week in two weeks, but we need to pause a moment and recognize what is happening right now. As a community of 10,000 cider lovers, a small thing that we can do to support Black Families and communities is to use our social capital.
The history of cider in the United States is the history of the United States itself, both glorious and fraught. Cider is a beautiful product of America’s orchard land – land that has been systematically withheld or taken from Black farmers. Our small industry is predominantly white, as a result of systems that have given white Americans unequal advantage. As Imbibe Magazine’s Editor said in a statement:
“This fractured system has given white Americans unfair advantages and privileges from day one. It’s made it easy to ignore the everyday injustices that our Black friends and neighbors endure. It’s made it easy to offer empty statements of support, to tell ourselves that our good intentions are enough…But in this moment, it’s important for us to state a few basic truths: Black Lives Matter. Racism is real, and rampant in our society.”
Our mission is to connect cidermakers and cider drinkers. That mission calls us to look at and dismantle the barriers between us. We are taking this opportunity to unlearn harmful practices and intentionally imagine and create a more inclusive industry. As NWCA, we support innovation and creativity. Now we are seeking creative new pathways to address historic and systemic racism in our industry.
As a start, I am asking these three things of our members and of you:
Support Black owned restaurants, bars, cideries right now. We are working quickly to reach out to Portland establishments to support them through Oregon Cider Week. If you know of a Black-owned eatery or maker who would like to be promoted through any of our cider weeks, please connect me.
Join me in taking the time to listen, to learn, and to engage with others.
Please email me your input into how our association can support an inclusive cider industry that reflects America’s beautiful diversity. Please reach out to me at Emily[at]nwcider.com
Thank you for your time, your voice and your feedback,