Official presentation ceremony of the Mount Gay Republic Blend. (PMO)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley believes officials must be more aggressive in the marketing of Barbados’ rum.

Ms. Mottley expressed this view today as she delivered an address at the launch of Mount Gay’s exclusive limited-edition rum, which was specially created to celebrate Barbados’ transition to a Republic, on Tuesday, November 30.

Ms. Mottley said: “I have asked those responsible, that is Invest Barbados and Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., to recognise that the marketing of our nation is strongest when it reflects who we are….  It is important to understand the essence of who we are as a people if we’re going to build on it, and if we’re going to be authentic in what we do and how we represent ourselves….

“Therefore, what is our story?  This is the place where commercial rum first started.  And the world must know that…. It must be one of those facts known by people in every continent. It must be one of those facts proclaimed and reflected upon with pride by Barbadians.  And we will therefore continue to work with the industry to be able to promote it in the best way that we know how.”

The Prime Minister expressed the view that there should be further growth in the rum industry, and said she looked forward to working with the rum producers to resolve the battles and identify the platform for growth, so there could be significant expansion.

She disclosed that she would be meeting with officials in the sugar industry before yearend, as she stressed that they must be “strategic” in moving forward with the sugar industry.

“Recognising that it requires multiple decisions, including the reality that our…factory cannot be a three-month power factory if the industry is to be successful; we must transition it to a 12-month power factory.

“But recognising as well that we have reached the point where the Government of Barbados can no longer be the underwriter of the sugar industry, in circumstances where the economic and financial opportunities are clearly there, whether through the co-generation of power or whether through the absolute strategic placement of high value added product,” she stated.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley receives a bottle of Mount Gay Barbados Rum – The Republic Blend (Limited Edition) from Master Blender, Trudiann Branker, today. (S. Maughan/BGIS)

Ms. Mottley explained that Barbados’ sugar could be specifically branded for local consumption and export.  She stressed that she was satisfied that with creativity, discipline and focus, they could again see the growth of a successful sugar industry.

She expressed the view that the story of rum, from field to the glass, justified another few dollars per bottle. As she thanked Mount Gay for blending the special rum as Barbados journeys to a republic, the Prime Minister again emphasised the significance of the country transitioning in a few days.

“If ever you needed a compass, as well as a solidifying factor to get through one of the most difficult periods since World War II, it is now and it is in the framing and the forging of that national spirit and identity that we will build a platform from which we can earn, be an influencer, protector, and a beacon to the rest of the world….,” she stated.

Managing Director of Mount Gay, Raphael Grisoni, said the journey was an important milestone for Barbados and it citizens, and the company was “very proud” to launch the limited-edition Republic Blend, which was created by the first female Master Blender, Trudiann Branker.

Ms. Branker stated that it was an honour to have been given the opportunity to “innovate for Barbados”.  “We innovate for the world normally, but this blend is special as it was crafted in celebration of this momentous occasion,” she explained.

She added that the limited-edition rum represents a snapshot in time, and the blend was “truly unique”.

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