Cuban rum to gain geographical denomination

Havana Club owners Cuba Ron and Pernod Ricard are lobbying for the creation of a geographical denomination for Cuban rum.

Employees of the Cuban rum brand hope the island's rum will be recognised by the EU by the end of 2012.

Talking to Drinks International from the Havana Club distillery, the rum brand’s commercial director, Sergio Valdés, said: “We are creating a Cuban appellation for Cuban rum to guarantee [to consumers] the quality of the rum. In a few months we will be recognised."

According to Valdés a Cuban committee aided by Pernod Ricard is in advance talks with EU legislators about the proposed geographical denomination.

If ratified, it would see the safeguarding of the term 'Cuban Rum' and would prevent products not produced in Cuba from using the term.

Valdés added: “It will be difficult to know what will happen [if the appellation is confirmed]. What we know is that many brands around the world use the word Cuba – In Italy, in Chile… Having the appellation will make it much more difficult to do that."

François Renié, communications director of Havana Club said: “The evolution of the rum industry is to set some clearer rules. The idea [at Pernod Ricard] is that Cuban rum should be the leader of the premiumisation of rum.

Renié said that a new appellation would not see the advent of stricter regulations of production.

“Pernod Ricard is helping in setting and building the rules. We won’t go to an extreme level of discrimination. We want [Cuban rum be about] quality rum that is light and naturally coloured."