The West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA) recently held a successful and informative meeting of its Technical Committee on 11 and 12 October 2023.

Held at the picturesque Divi Southwinds Resort, in St. Lawrence, Barbados, this two-day event marked the first in-person technical meeting following the covid pandemic where a diverse group of industry professionals representing 17 distilleries from around the region came together to foster collaboration and knowledge on key topics in the world of rum and spirits production.

From Belize, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic in the north, through the Eastern Caribbean chain and down to Guyana and Suriname in the south, these industry professionals shared technical presentations that provided valuable insights into managing daily operations in areas such as bottling and packaging, as well as establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) for sustainable growth.

Attendees were engaged in spirited discussions, exchanging best practices and reinforcing the commitment to fostering a collaborative environment for the exchanging of ideas and expertise, to maintain industry excellence.

In addition to the technical presentations, the meeting also featured a series of educational roundtable discussions that delved into various facets of production, such as barrelling and maturation techniques, molasses, sustainability practices and innovative waste treatment methods. These discussions offered a platform for participants to exchange ideas and explore innovative solutions to common industry challenges.

“The Technical Committee meeting was an incredible opportunity for industry experts to come together and share their knowledge and experiences,” said Vaughn Renwick, CEO of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA). “We are proud to facilitate these discussions and promote innovation and sustainability within our industry. This commitment to learning and collaboration is a testament to the dedication of WIRSPA to the growth and development of the regional rum industry.”

The second day of the meeting included an exciting opportunity for distillery visits, allowing participants to experience a firsthand look at the operations of renowned Barbadian establishments, including Foursquare Rum Distillery under the R.L. Seale & Co. Ltd. umbrella, the West Indies Rum Distillery and Mount Gay Distilleries Ltd.

These visits are always a highlight among the producers and form an invaluable part of WIRSPA’s events, as they provide further insights into the production processes used among members and showcase the traditions that make each producer a unique hub of excellence in the Caribbean rum and spirits industry.

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