by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Site at Meadows in Conference St Andrew to house rum distillery, mill and warehouse
- Partnership between Renegade Spirits Grenada Limited, the Government of Grenada and Westerhall Estate Limited
- 55-acre nursery established to propagate imported tissue-cultured sugarcane embryos
A 5-acre site at Meadows in Conference St Andrew will house a new rum distillery, mill and warehouse. The construction forms part of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Renegade Spirits Grenada Limited founded by Mark Reynier, John Adams and Sir John Mactaggart, the Government of Grenada and Westerhall Estate Limited.
The company has two Grenadian subsidiaries: CaneCo Limited, the agricultural services and milling operation, and Renegade Rum Distillery Limited, the distillery, warehousing, and bottling facility.
This project was conceptualised following a feasibility study conducted in 2015 on the re-introduction of sugarcane in Grenada. The cane propagation began in 2016 and it is expected that the first commercial harvest and distillation would take place in July 2019, coinciding with the completion of the distillery.
The sod turning ceremony was held on Friday, 20 July 2018 with attendance from Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, Agriculture Minister Yolande Bain Horsford, and MP for St Andrew North East, Kate Lewis.
Dr Mitchell told the gathering that this is a start to revitalise the rural community. “We believe that it sends another signal about the development of the rural economy and a number of people will see this as a major opportunity.”
The cane propagation commenced in 2016 and is it is expected that the first commercial harvest and distillation will take place in July 2019 which coincides with the completion of the distillery.
Reynier is quite confident in the success of this project. “This project is a vision over doubt, of belief over the naysayers and perseverance over apathy, and we have driven that road and that is where we are today…we know what we are doing, and this is now the home run.”
Minister Bain Horsford said farmers stand to benefit the most from this project. “This is a big development for the farmers since they will have an opportunity to reactivate their lands that they have had for a long time and have not been doing anything. I have been speaking with a few of them and they are happy that this project is coming on stream.”
MP Lewis was quite pleased that the project will bring much-needed employment to the rural area. “I am very happy because I anticipate that the level of employment that will be created both direct and indirect and also the level of infrastructure development that this comes with, and this is very good for St Andrew North East.”
Apart from the site in Conference, a 55-acre nursery has been established at Westerhall and Hope St Andrew to propagate over 30,000 imported tissue-cultured embryos from 7 selected sugarcane varieties from the West Indies Sugar Cane Research Institute. It is anticipated by May 2019, the first distillation will commence, and by the year 2021, Renegade Rum will be available on the market.