Business Barbados 2018 - page 124

But the industry is sensitive to the
volatility in the pricing of imported
molasses and therefore a scheme to
support the importation of the molasses
and provide a more stable price would be
welcomed.
Finally the industry is subject to a twin
regulatory framework: the Spirits Act and
the Excise Tax Act. The Excise Tax Act
sets out the framework for the collection
of excise taxes on liquors in general. The
Spirits Act, in its current form, is an
antiquated piece of legislation that
impedes the modernization of rum
manufacturing. For example, under the
Act, the supervision of the production of
rum must occur during “normal” working
hours. Modern distilling operations for
the competition are 24/7 operations.
Manufacturers have represented that
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large, global industry, Raphael Grisoni
believes the Government could provide
assistance to the industry with the
education of the persons in the trade
(bartenders, retailers and distributors,
influencers). Raphael explains that
Mount Gay Distillers financed the
education of between 700 to 800
persons last year, and has even employed
the assistance of the Barbados Museum
and Historical Society in the education
effort. He represented that the trade
people responded extremely favourably
to the addition of a history lesson on
Barbados rum.
The Barbados sugar industry currently
supplies 10 – 20% of the molasses for the
Barbados rum industry, and the
remainder is imported from countries
such as Guyana, Guatemala and Belize.
Customs may allow distilling to occur
outside of the “normal” hours but no
barrelling, tank transfers or bottling can
be conducted. This piece of legislation
needs an immediate review by
Government. We cannot be competitive
otherwise.
Rum is an integral part of the social
fabric of our country and its story is
intertwined with the story of Barbados.
How can we capitalize on our story and
create a brand that engages the
consumer? The Bajan manufacturers
have lots of ideas and initiatives. And
with Government providing the enabling
framework to encourage growth and
immediate transformation, our rum
industry can flourish. I see a bright
future ahead.
Barbados Rum: Distinguished History - Exciting Future
Photo courtesy of the BTMI
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