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Popular Caribbean rum renamed after criticism over slavery link

Popular Caribbean rum renamed after criticism over slavery link

A popular Carribean rum has been rebranded over allegations that the name has “hurtful” links to slavery.

Spirits producer Maison Ferrand changed the name of its Plantation rum to Planteray rum. Bottles with the new name will be rolled out globally from this month.

The company initially promised to change the drink’s name in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd in 2020.

International protests led to widespread discussions on systemic racism and the influences of the colonial past, leading to multiple brands being put under scruntiy for associations that could be offensive.

But delays were caused by trademarking the new name in 120 countries, the company said.

Alexandre Gabriel, the rum’s creator and master blender, said at the time: “We understand the hurtful connotation the word ‘plantation’ can evoke to some people, especially in its association with much graver images and dark realities of the past.

“We look to grow in our understanding of these difficult issues and while we don’t currently have all the details of what our brand name evolution will involve, we want to let everyone know that we are working to make fitting changes.”

Plantation rum has been renamed Planteray rum (Getty Images)
Plantation rum has been renamed Planteray rum (Getty Images)

The new name comes from the word “plant” to reference the sugar cane origin of the rum and “ray” to refer to “the sun, being open to people, the heritage and savoir-faire of rum”, according to a post on the brand’s Instagram account.

It was announced by the company owner at a press conference at the West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados this month.

“From today forwards, the evolution from Plantation to Planteray begins,” said founder Gabriel.

“It was a long journey of trademarking a name that reflects our brand ethos in 120 countries. Naturally, the rum we have proudly produced for more than 25 years remains exactly the same and will still be produced with the same expertise, attention and care but now as Planteray Rum.

“We remain wholeheartedly committed to making the same exceptional rum from Barbados and some of the greatest rum terroirs in the world.”