Ian K Ramdhanie, msC,
Luxury giant Moët Hennessy, one of the world’s leading wine and spirits groups, is shifting production of its flagship rum brand 10 Cane from T&T to Barbados. The Paris-based firm announced that it would be blending and bottling 10 Cane, its premium light rum brand, at Barbados’ Foursquare Rum Distillery in move that is expected to pour as much as US$50 million in foreign exchange into the Barbados economy.
Sir David Seale, of Foursquare Rum Distillery, in announcing the agreement to distill, blend and bottle a brand the rum, declared: “This is Barbados’ gain over Trinidad.” “It is very exciting because this brand, having been established worldwide, it has a track record, so we are not starting from zero. We are starting from a point that is a guaranteed amount that you can produce.”
“Our sums say that it is quite possible that we will earn in excess of $100 million in foreign exchange over the next five years. And obviously from the first year, things will start slower, because they still have stocks from Trinidad, so it won’t take up the full stock things until probably a year is gone,” explained Sir David.
He said the deal is a recognition of the Foursquare Rum Distillery as a world class facility. He said the decision to build a facility, which was also designed as a tourist attraction had worked effectively, in that the word-of-mouth advertising by visitors had led to a massive increase in export sales of the local rum brands to Europe and the United States.
“In fact, we’ve gone down in Australia … last year November, and also recognition was very much. I can only imagine that Moet Hennessy came here, because they are satisfied that they are going to get a quality product,” he said. Foursquare’s managing Director Richard Seale expressed the view that the future development of Barbados partly rested on the rum industry. He said the contract with Moet Hennessy could result in many indirect jobs, increased economic activity and between ten per cent and 30 per cent more exports.
“This brand has the short potential to sell in the region of two to three hundred thousand cases and to become a major global brand when you want it to sell a million cases,” he added. The rum, launched in T&T in 2005, is made from first press sugar cane juice. This marked it a “rhum agricole,” since it’s distilled from the cane juice instead of the more common molasses. It is called 10 Cane because it supposedly takes ten sugar cane stalks to make one bottle of the rum.