Caribbean and French rum producers team up to improve exports deals

Caribbean rum producers have joined forces with French group CIRT-DOM, to help get the best deal for their exports into major markets including the European Union.

Rum producers under the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with French counterparts CIRT-DOM - the traditional rum producers of Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Reunion.

Chairman of WIRSPA, Komal Samaroo, said: “We have a long history of collaboration with our French counterparts, almost 25 years since the signing of our first agreement in 1997.

“Together we face a sharp rise in non-traditional imports of rum into our traditional markets, especially the European Union and the UK. Many of these competing brands do not always follow the rules, and many benefit from extensive production and marketing subsidies which place us at a competitive disadvantage.

“These developments, coupled with the impact of Brexit and the new trade deals being pursued by the UK, underline the need for joint action.”

Alain Chatel, president of the French grouping CIRT-DOM, added: “Both our groupings are traditional producers of authentic rum based on true provenance, and we have together worked to build the reputation of rum as a quality premium spirit, alongside the best of the best. We share a common philosophy.”