Rum producers from around the region have announced plans to introduce new labels in domestic and regional markets.
The labels will contain visual guides against drinking and driving, underage consumption and drinking during pregnancy.
The disclosure came in a release from the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers’ Association (WIRSPA).
The release quoted Raphael Grisoni, the Managing Director for Mount Gay Distilleries and the Barbados Director for WIRSPA, as saying that the new provisions will also provide responsible drinking messages and calorie per serving information to assist consumers in making the right choices about how they drink.
“We are also intensifying our collaboration with other producers and distributors of alcoholic beverages and hope these initiatives can be adopted by the entire sector, as this is the only way we will achieve the full impact,” Grisoni explained.
In addition to the regional initiative on labelling, the producers also announced the adoption of a new code of practice for the advertising and marketing of their products, it was reported.
According to the news release, the comprehensive revamp of their existing 10-year-old code sees major new guidance on the responsible use of social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram that corresponds to international best practice.
The rum producers from around the region met in Barbados this week to discuss how to promote responsible drinking and to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.
Chairman of WIRSPA and head of the Guyana conglomerate Demerara Distillers, Mr. Komal Samaroo, was quoted as saying that “as indigenous brands firmly rooted in the communities in which we serve, we have a responsibility to do the best we can in ensuring persons consume our products responsibly. “
“As we work to implement these commitments over the next 24 months, we hope that we can continue to work in partnership with our governments to reduce harmful drinking and its impact on society,” the WIRSPA release quoted Samaroo as saying.
The harmful use of alcohol has been recognised as a contributing factor to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
“The industry set up at task force in 2018 to see how best the industry could support the efforts of the regulatory agencies and health sector to encourage responsible drinking as part of a balanced active healthy lifestyle,” the WIRSPA news release observed.