Friday 23 May – Caribbean governments stand firmly behind the rum industry in their quest to make their mark on the international market says Prime minister of St. Lucia, Dr. Kenny Anthony. The Prime Minister was speaking at a presentation of CARIFORUM brands to European spirits journalists and drinks professional in St Lucia on Tuesday 20th May. Seventeen brands from 11 CARIFORUM countries were represented in St Lucia which saw spirits journalists from top trade titles in 6 European countries learning about the uniqueness of Authentic Caribbean Rums under the WIRSPA umbrella.
Dr. Anthony commended the regional grouping on their foresight in establishing the ACR Marque of quality and authenticity and for continuing to strive for excellence in the export market with premium products. He challenged the producers to maintain and strengthen these efforts while still paying attention to their responsibilities in their home markets as responsible corporate citizens.
Dr Frank Ward, Chairman of the producers association, WIRSPA noted that while producers continued to move into the branded market, there continued to be much unfair competition from subsidised products. Nevertheless, he charged, rum continued to be the largest agricultural based export for the region and earner of foreign exchange, a major employer and contributor to public finances through tax payments.
He thanked the CARIFORUM governments for their support to the export effort of the industry and to the European Union for financing the development and promotion of the quality ACR Marque. The quality ACR Marque was still a very young initiative and continued support by governments and the European Union was critical to the survival of the industry, and even more so for the smaller producers.
The initiative is part of the Authentic Caribbean Rum (ACR) Marque campaign run by WIRSPA and aimed to introduce journalists from the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands to Caribbean producers and their brands as part of the campaign.
Producers from the following brands were present:
– EnglishHarbour from Antigua & Barbuda
– Cockspur, Doorly’s, MountGay and St. Nicholas Abbey from Barbados
– Traveller’s from Belize
– Macoucherie from Dominica
– Barceló and Brugal from the Dominican Republic
– Clarkes Court and Westerhall Estate from Grenada
– Monymusk and Hampden Estate from Jamaica
– Chairman’s Reserve from St Lucia
– Captain Bligh from St Vincent & the Grenadines
– Borgoe from Suriname
– Angostura from Trinidad & Tobago