Differences over the terms of the proposed geographical indication (GI) for the island’s rum have surfaced among rum distillers in Barbados.

Three distillers have agreed over the terms of the GI for the rum produced on the Island, however fourth significant producer is opposing them.

Mount Gay, Foursquare and Saint Nicholas Abbey are supporting the proposal, while West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD) has expressed concerns over the GI terms.

WIRD, owned by French drinks group Maison Ferrand, said the terms prepared by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) has not taken into consideration the historical Barbados rum-making practices and is demanding greater flexibility.

WIRD’s managing director Andrew Hassell and owner and master blender Alexandre Gabriel in a joint statement said: “We truly believe that a GI must be inclusive and faithful to the roots of all Barbados rum-making and to the diversity of those who have, for centuries, created heritage and added value for Barbados.

“This is precisely what West Indies Rum Distillery and Plantation stand for. We have spent years researching the heritage of Barbados rum–making.”

WIRD also argued that the Barbadian rum must be created, fermented, and distilled in Barbados, as well as matured on the island for one year. Furthermore, the GI must preserve the historical practice of double ageing.

Furthermore, the three distillers supporting GI terms, who hold 90% of Barbados’s aged rum reserves, said the proposed legislation of rum would give room for innovation and flexibility.