EU funding for traditional rum producers
Traditional Caribbean rum producers are to be given a push in the UK and key markets across the world thanks to a new EU-backed generic funding campaign.
The West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers' Association has been given a second wave of investment to help drive awareness of Caribbean rum and in particular the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque, which symbolises authenticity and quality of rum from the region.
It follows an initial campaign that ended in 2010 which was primarily focused on the UK and key European markets. This current initiative, which runs from 2013 to 2015, will cover Europe, the US and Canada, and other key international markets.
To help drive the key messages about rum and the authenticity of the marque, WIRSPA has signed up a panel of spirits professionals, including mixologists and bar consultants from around the world, to work with the trade in promoting Caribbean rum.
Neil Morris, WIRSPA's head of marketing, said the campaign was vital in helping smaller traditional Caribbean rum distillers compete against the "Goliath" drink industry brands.
He said 15 companies had now been awarded the marque status that demonstrates they produce rum to the required traditional standards, up from five companies that had signed up at the end of the last campaign.