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Rum producers bridging digital divide

By WIRSPA Secretariat

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(WIRSPA Secretariat) – Caribbean rum brands, members of the regional grouping WIRSPA, have appointed a Community Envoy to further support their efforts to promote the industry globally and in keeping with the increasing influence of social media on consumer behaviour.

Matt Pietrek, more familiarly known online as the ‘Cocktail Wonk’ or ‘Rum Wonk’, will complement the work of the grouping to raise the profile of Caribbean Rum in the new social media space as the industry seeks to extend its reach to educate and engage a wider audience. He will work with producers to expose the history, heritage and quality of Authentic Caribbean Rums, and raise awareness of WIRSPA’s mission and programs, best practice sharing between large and small producers and its advocacy for authentic rum origin.

The versatility of rum and its tremendous heritage is attracting much attention internationally. No more so than in the digital world where social media has provided a platform for active groups of enthusiasts who are thirsty for knowledge and facts about authentic rum. As a grouping first formed in the 1960’s, WIRSPA – the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers Association – now represents over twenty-five producers in 13 countries ranging from small artisanal producers to larger distillers who make some of the region’s iconic brands.

Chairman of WIRSPA, Komal Samaroo, head of the Guyana rum brand El Dorado, welcomed the appointment, “we are very pleased that Matt Pietrek, a well-known and trusted voice for true rum, has agreed to carry our message of authenticity and provenance.” He added, “we are a group of countries which has been making rum for over 300 years, with a shared philosophy of true origin, common regulation and deep roots in the communities in which we operate.”

According to Vaughn Renwick, Chief Executive of WIRSPA, “Matt is a well-respected and objective expert in the world of rum and brings to our collaboration a passion for this diverse spirit and an analytical rigour which will help us to expose the great stories and tremendous heritage of our member brands, producers of Authentic Caribbean Rum.”

Matt Pietrek said, “I’m honoured to have been entrusted with the role of Community Envoy for WIRSPA and its member brands. Theirs is a heritage rich with tradition and diversity, connected by a common thread of history. It’s a great story and one which I’m very happy to help tell.”

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