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Old 04-28-2008, 04:48 PM   #1
Edward Hamilton
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Default UK: WIRSPA unveils rum "marque of provenance"

28 April 2008 | Source: just-drinks.com editorial teamThe West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA) has readied a new "marque of provenance" for rums from the Caribbean.
The trade body, which represents spirits producers, including Angostura, Mount Gay and Brugal & Co., from 15 Caribbean territories, unveiled the marque late last week.
The marque will be used as a "visual symbol of provenance and quality, designed to help trade and consumers identify" brands from represented producers, the association said.
Following the launch of the logo, the WIRSPA is hoping to introduce a three-tier classification system for its members' rums. A black and white version of the marque will appear on 'Authentic Caribbean Rum', produced from sugar cane or molasses within Africa, Caribbean and Pacific region, while a silver and black version would be used on rums from the region matured for a minimum of one year. A gold and black certification will signify 'Deluxe Authentic Caribbean Rum', for rums matured for five years or more.
"With the popularity of rum increasing year-on-year, there is no doubt that consumers are not only looking to explore brands, but are also seeking some help in the selection process," said Neil Morris, WIRSPA's head of marketing. "The new ACR marque will, e believe, help meet both these objectives, while also helping to give further weight to the development of a distinct Authentic Caribbean Rum sector within the rum category."
The logo will be backed by a marketing campaign, initially in the UK, including trade and consumer press advertising, bartender training and PR support. The campaign, which will cost EUR10m (US$19.9m) between now and 2009, will also spread to Italy and Spain in the coming months.
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:07 PM   #2
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I'm glad to see it moving ahead... It's a start.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:23 AM   #3
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Would the Caribbean region for the marque include South America as well. I was wondering how Pampero or Diplomatico would fit in (if they do).
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:07 AM   #4
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Venezuela isn't included in the campaign, but Guyana and Suriname are
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:58 AM   #5
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This will be interesting to see as it unfolds.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:27 AM   #6
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I've had 3 calls from the Drink press in the last week, each of them asking me to add fuel to the fire of debate around the ACR marque.

"Is establishing an AUTHENTIC Caribbean marque intended to denigrate those not included in the campaign?"

I've thrown out my thoughts, but I'd be very interested to hear the views of the MORummers
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:50 PM   #7
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I'm rather ambivalent on the subject. I can see some good coming out of this, but I don't particularly care about it.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:17 PM   #8
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I've been hearing rumors about this for several years. I'd be interested in having someone who in charge of the new marque explain to this forum the goals and direction of this new marque.

Here are a few of the questions I've been asked:

Are all of the distillers from the included countries automatically qualified to put the new marque on their products?

What does this cost the participating distillers?

What are the requirements for a product to carry the new marque?

If I buy rum from a WIRSPA distillery and bottle it in another country, can I use the new marque?

Where did the ~$20 million for marketing this new marque come from?

Can more distillers join this party?

If you can answer the above questions feel free to contact me and I'll make all of your answers public on the most-viewed forum about rum on the internet.
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:23 PM   #9
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A great idea Ed...I hope someone from WIRSPA does step forward to shed some light.

There is a fair amount of info on the subject on the net. However much of it is quite disjointed and dry, to say the least.

This is a major undertaking for the Caribbean Countries involved.

The overall project between CARIFORUM and the European Union is quite large and expansive..including infrastructure improvements, as well as the identification of major trade categories with the end to bring to them a higher level of consumer awareness through quality assurance. This includes aluminum, rum, bananas and rice.

Here is a link (in pdf format) to an older but very concise explanation of the part of the agreement as it pertains to rum.

I look forward to learning more.
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Hamilton View Post
I've been hearing rumors about this for several years. I'd be interested in having someone who in charge of the new marque explain to this forum the goals and direction of this new marque.

Here are a few of the questions I've been asked:

Are all of the distillers from the included countries automatically qualified to put the new marque on their products?

What does this cost the participating distillers?

What are the requirements for a product to carry the new marque?

If I buy rum from a WIRSPA distillery and bottle it in another country, can I use the new marque?

Where did the ~$20 million for marketing this new marque come from?

Can more distillers join this party?

If you can answer the above questions feel free to contact me and I'll make all of your answers public on the most-viewed forum about rum on the internet.
Ed,

I know the answers to some of your questions as we've been involved with WIRSPA for some years, although we have no official role. It's worth me stating I'm not speaking on their behalf or attempting to represent them........

If I buy rum from a WIRSPA distillery and bottle it in another country, can I use the new marque? - No. As I understand it you have to have your head office registered in one of the member countries. Elements Eight for example cannot join.

Where did the ~$20 million for marketing this new marque come from?
http://www.landofsixpeoples.com/news301/ns30122.htm
The Caribbean governments campaigned and successfully won a 70m euro development grant from the EU to support export businesses - and rum was selected as the industry to invest in. As I understand it, the bulk of the money has been used internally by the distillers to modernise and improve infrastructure etc with 10m euros set aside for the marketing campaign above. Also the distillers have been able to claim marketing support for their activities in Uk, Spain and Italy - they can claim back 50p for every pound spent - from the development fund.

I'll wait for someone from WIRSPA themselves to answer the big questions. Basically, it's a big-damn EU tax dollar funded rum-party, and the Caribbean has been invited!
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