10 Cane becoming a Barbadian rum

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- Drinks giant Moët Hennessy is moving production of its flagship rum brand 10 Cane here from Trinidad & Tobago.

The Paris-headquartered company will be distilling, blending and bottling its rum at the Foursquare Rum Distillery here.

The Barbados government said the location shift, which will mean a new facility for distilling, blending and bottling the rum is expected to bring in as much as $50 million in foreign exchange.

"Rum is a distinct Barbadian product, and I believe that we are the home of rum, and that is something that I don’t think we have fully capitalised on as yet," said Donville Inniss, Industry Minister of this Caribbean island nation.

“This is very exciting because this brand having been established world-wide, it has a track record, so we are not starting from zero," said Sir David Seale chairman of Foursquare. "We are starting from a point that it is a guarantee amount that we can produce ... . Our sums will say that it is quite possible that we will earn in excess of $100 million (Barbadian dollars, which are 50 cents per American dollar) in foreign exchange over the next five years."

Inniss said Barbados is not a low-cost location for manufacturing. As a result "we have to tap into the niche areas and rum is a product that is synonymous with Barbados and, therefore, we have to exploit fully the rum industry. This means ... making use of an ultra-modern plant distillery and creating niche products."

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