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Authentic Rum not just a sales gimmick


Authentic Rum not just a sales gimmick

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Rum is now recognised to be one of the last remaining high added value sectors in the Caribbean offering sustainable employment and income generation.

As the region’s largest agriculture based export, over 60 per cent of rum production is exported. Rum therefore generates vital foreign exchange revenues and taxes paid by West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers’ Association (WIRSPA) producers to regional governments exceed US$250 million per annum.

In this vein, WIRSPA is pushing on with its Authentic Caribbean Rum campaign, taking on the rum producers in North America.

WIRSPA chairman Dr Frank Ward said: “The ACR campaign is far more than a marketing exercise. Rum is vital for the long-term economic well-being of the Caribbean – over 100 000 people, many in rural local communities, depend on the rum industry for their livelihoods”.

“WIRSPA members include many brands including Cockspur, Doorly’s, Mount Gay and St Nicholas Abbey from Barbados who would struggle to get their voice heard in the face of competition from huge global producers. The sales figures of some of these companies are higher than the entire GDP of several CARIFORUM countries combined.”

Following its successful launch in Europe, WIRSPA is taking its campaign to promote the ACR Marque to the trade in Canada and the United States this year as well as expanding into Denmark, Portugal and Ireland.

The ACR Marque is a symbol of authenticity, provenance and quality for rums produced in 13 CARIFORUM countries that have agreed to adhere to its quality control and production standards. The EU/CARIFORUM funded programme to promote the marque has provided the opportunity for Caribbean rum brands ranging in size from the boutique to medium sized, to take their place on the global rum stage.

To date the campaign has trained almost 4 000 top bartenders throughout Europe and aims for almost

1 000 more in North America in 2015 alone. (PR)