October 2013: The West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers’ Association Inc. (WIRSPA) has unveiled its Marque of provenance to support and promote Authentic Caribbean Rum (ACR) brands.
The Marque is a visual symbol of provenance and quality, designed to help trade and consumers identify ACR brands, which is used to promote the development of Authentic Caribbean Rum as a distinct variety within the rum category. Because rum is made all around the world but Authentic Caribbean Rum is unique. No other spirit can boast such a rich and diverse heritage. ACR rums are the product of a craft developed and refined over centuries and the unrivalled range of ACR rums available today reflects the diversity of the countries and people who produce them. Each rum has its own distinct character and story all of its own. It is this combination of shared values and diversity of character which makes Authentic Caribbean Rums unique.
The Marque Criteria:
15 Caribbean country associations which make up the WIRSPA board* have agreed a common set of production standards to define Authentic Caribbean Rum:
- Rum must be fermented and distilled in one or more of these countries from product of sugar cane origin
- Flavouring is not permitted
- Where a statement of maturity and/or age is given:
- it shall be that of the youngest distilled spirit in the product
- the rum shall have been matured in wooden vats or barrels for not less than one year
The Marque can only be used by producers after approval of a licence agreement by the Board of WIRSPA. While each brand will maintain its individual character and identity, the Marque guarantees the authenticity and provenance of the rum.
Neil Morris, Head of Marketing at WIRSPA explains: “The Caribbean is the recognised ‘home’ of rum and offers a hugely diverse range of brands. 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. The new ACR marque will, we believe, help meet both these objectives, while also helping to give further weight to the development of a distinct Authentic Caribbean Rum category.”
The new marque will be supported with an international trade education campaign including an online community for trade professionals, bar tender training, trade show attendance plus significant PR support.