Caribbean Export, WIRSPA partner on Absolutely Caribbean Virtual Expo

      Caribbean Export, WIRSPA partner  on Absolutely Caribbean Virtual Expo

Bottle of rum manufactured in the Caribbean.


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados--Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) and the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA) are working together to support increased trade of rum and spirits between the Caribbean and Europe with the Absolutely Caribbean Virtual Expo, scheduled for November 17-18.

  The Absolutely Caribbean Virtual Expo will host some 50 exhibitors from across the Caribbean that manufacture products in the areas of sauces and condiments, natural products and alcoholic beverages.

  “The rum and spirits sectors are an important sector for trade in [Forum of the Caribbean Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States – Ed.] CARIFORUM and we have seen exports to the European Union grow by nearly 27 per cent between 2017 and 2019,” informed Dr. Damie Sinanan, Manager of Competitiveness and Export Promotion at Caribbean Export.   

  Despite a contraction in sales in domestic markets and internationally due to the restrictions around lockdowns and social gatherings, Caribbean rum producers report continued interest in their premium offerings and are working to ensure that they capitalise on this interest once markets return to normalcy. Brands from Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti and Suriname will participate.

  Delphine Gardere, Managing Director of Rhum Barbancourt of Haiti, says they’re pleased to be participating: “The coronavirus has kept us from implementing our growth plans in this important market – we think the virtual exhibition will allow us to reach new markets and provide tangible export results.”  

  WIRSPA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vaughn Renwick said, “This virtual trade show is designed to benefit smaller brands looking to extend their reach in export markets – key to its success is attracting solid importers, distributors and wholesalers to be part of the show. We think Caribbean Export has done a great job on this score.” He added, “We’re pleased to partner with Caribbean Export on this innovative venture – presenting a virtual exhibition is new for many of us and it is great to see Caribbean Export leading the way.”  

  The Absolutely Caribbean Virtual Expo provides an opportune time for Caribbean producers to showcase what they have to bring to the global market and is a follow-up to the Fourth CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum held in Frankfurt, Germany, last year which saw some 70 industry buyers and investors conduct over 150 business-to-business meetings.

  The partnership with WIRSPA aims to support the participation of regional producers and leverage their knowledge and expertise in the international market. WIRSPA is one of the oldest private sector trade associations in the Caribbean. It represents rum producers in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Haiti, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago.