West Indies Rum Distillery becomes CARICOM’s First Bonsucro Certified Distillery

West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD) is pleased to announce its Bonsucro’s Chain of Custody (ChoC) certification, the first distillery in the Caribbean and Barbados to obtain this certification. Bonsucro is a non-profit organization that aims to promote sustainable sugar cane production, processing, and trade around the world.

West Indies bonsucro
Photo credit: Maison Ferrand

This is a landmark in the Caribbean, with only a handful of distilleries in the world successfully reaching this coveted designation. This certification, developed by Bonsucro, guarantees consumers that the sugar cane use to produce the rum they buy is produced, sourced and traded responsibly, and further strengthens the Barbados brand as a high-quality sustainable product of international standing.

Bonsucro is a key member in the “Adelante Initiative” which protects workers’ health by developing safer working practices by promoting safe working conditions for workers to prevent stress or accidents in the workplace.

“I’m so pleased to see the first rum distillery in the Caribbean achieve Bonsucro certification. It’s a really positive step for Barbados and the wider region. Congratulations to the team at the West Indies Rum Distillery for their leadership and achievement.” says Danielle Morley, Bonsucro Chief Executive Officer.

“Our sustainability focus goes beyond our value chain. That is because we recognize that we can only create a better and brighter future by addressing how interconnected all the aspects of rum making are in the battle against climate and social change – from sugar cane fields to our consumers hands,” said Andrew Hassell, Managing Director at the West Indies Rum Distillery. “By adhering to Bonsucro’s principles, we, as a distillery, collectively strive to be a true reflection of our core values and be on the side of high ethical standards as sugarcane users.”

Hassell added that this decision was not only a reflection on the profound values of the entire WIRD’s team but that “we know that in order to make great rum, our people must be at the centre of sustainable and social development”. Therefore, in this regard, he noted that WIRD is already committed to reinvesting all the profits back to the distillery in Barbados, growing its operations and increasing employment there by 40%.

This renowned old Distillery was founded in 1893 in Barbados and has defined the nature and taste of Barbados rum for over 125 years. It is also home to flagship products – the multiple award-winning Plantation Rum and Stade’s Rum. Recently, its master distiller, Don Benn was elected best rum distiller in the world, underscoring the overall commitment to excellence in every aspect of its production of the best Barbados rum in the world.

WIRD has undertaken an in-depth transformation to reduce its environmental impact and bring more transparency across the entire value chain with sustainability as a fundamental and core principle. The Bonsucro ChoC certification is yet another big step towards this aspiration, in elevating its commitment to local sustainability. Coupled with a commitment to the Barbados Government’s similar efforts, West Indies Rum Distillery is creating positive impact not only in the rum industry but on the environment and the whole society.