TEF contributes $6 million to Jamaica Rum Festival

TEF contributes $6 million to Jamaica Rum Festival

Business reporter

Friday, January 17, 2020

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Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) in partnership with his ministry has contributed some $6 million to the second staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival. He also pledged the ministry's yearly support to the festival.

“From this day forth all the infrastructure required to make this festival an event will be put in place with the support of the ministry to make sure that every year we can package this festival with rooms and with seats and bring visitors to Jamaica to consume critical assets that is from the heart and the soul of the Jamaican people,” the minister declared at the launch of the Jamaica Rum Festival at Devon House in Kingston on Wednesday.

“Eighty-eight per cent of the world travels for food experience, and so the right thing to do is build our food experiences. This partnership, therefore, in enhancing gastronomy in Jamaica is designed selfishly because it is about the economy. It's not so much about the liquor that we imbibed and the spirit that is imbued therefrom, it is economic and so that is a little bit selfish. But it is true, because that's what brings the well-being and enables our people to have independence and to feel free and be happy.

The two-day event, slated for Hope Botanical Gardens in St Andrew from February 29 to March 1, is staged by J Wray & Nephew Limited's Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and through its agency TEF, aims to promote various ways in which rum can be utilised and enjoyed, boost Kingston's tourism product and showcase Jamaica's cultural excellence in food, beverage and music.

Marketing director of J Wray & Nephew Marsha Lumley told the Jamaica Observer that while she can't quote the total investment figure of this year's staging, the overall investment of the inaugural staging was over $160 million.

“As a festival we felt like it was important to highlight Jamaican's culture and heritage — the heritage of rum and the experience of rum. So to have that, it's important to have artisans, people who everyday create and also in some instances, use rum in their creation. The Jamaica Rum Festival is an opportunity to showcase Jamaican rum and other by-products of Jamaican rum, not only to Jamaicans but to tourists alike. We believe that this is a festival that can really boost tourism and contribute to the economy like any other festival that is already in Jamaica,” she told the Caribbean Business Report.

Treanna Lindo, whose company Sanaa's Bliss is signing up with the festival for the second time, reveals that the festival opens a door for local products to be exported.

“I have products that use pure sugar, which is also a by-product of sugar cane, so I feel it would be very fitting to display my products. I did it last year and I think it was very good for me as I actually got a good amount of following since that show. In fact, there's this one client who bought some of my products at the show and she lives overseas but she keeps on buying products, so I actually have to ship products to her,” she said.

Allison Perkins, co-founder and creative director of Rummy Rum Cake, is also excited about the opportunity and shared similar sentiments.

“We aim to achieve a lot of exposure and this is great for an export market to bring in foreign exchange. It's all Jamaican products so we do push buy Jamaica, support Jamaica,” she stated.

In addition to presenting sponsor Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, other Jamaican rum brands that will be participating include Monymusk Plantations Rums, Hampden Estate and Rum Fire, Rum Bar, Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum, Charley's JB Rum and, Sangster's Rum Cream.

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