BACARDI came to The Bahamas in 1960, when the Castro government in Cuba confiscated the Cuban properties of BACARDI. When the shareholders reconstituted the Cuban company in The Bahamas on January 27, 1965, it continued as the owner of the BACARDI brand names, trademarks and formulas as well as the manufacturing secrets and processes.
The Bahamas was selected as the relocation site for the company because of the advantages of political stability, a strong economy and very specially the people of the country who were willing to learn and work. The Bahamas had also enacted (at that time) forward thinking legislation which attracted foreign investment and industrial development. Among this legislation was the Spirits and Beer Manufacture Act, which provided substantial tax advantages and duty free entry for all our raw materials, machinery and equipment related to the manufacturing of spirits and beer. After 45 years of implementation the Act remains in force, shored up annually by a government that understands the value of locating a major industry within this primarily touristic nation.
Over the years we were able to train and acquire an extremely competent workforce and can say that today we are very proud of the caliber of Bahamians working for this local company and a part of the BACARDI global network. In a workforce of 114 there are only one who is on work permit. The most senior positions are held by Bahamians as is every other position throughout the company. Although our total workforce is modest in numbers, indirectly the company creates employment for other individuals – an addition of about 40 persons, such as truck drivers, landscapers, security and janitorial services. Significantly, it is this company, as the owner of the BACARDI trademark, that bears the world-wide responsibility for all quality control matters for any product bearing the brand name BACARDI. A sophisticated laboratory, fitted out with state of the art equipment, is operated entirely by Bahamians. Additionally, unique to the Bacardi organization is the Pilot Plant Research Facility, again solely staffed by Bahamians. This Plant is a scaled-down version of the industrial plant solely dedicated to Research and Development for the Bacardi organization world-wide. This facility provides staff and technology dedicated to performing troubleshooting tasks as well as pilot scale studies in the areas of fermentation, distillation, aging maturation and rum processing, thus allowing investigations to be carried out without disruption of the industrial processes.
The Pilot Plant is also pivotal in the development of new rum products. The facility is credited with the development of Casa BACARDI® which was launched in the United States in September 1996 and BACARDI 8 Años launched at the Tax-Free World Exhibition in Cannes, France in October 1997,
Our company is a complete state-of-the-art fully manufacturing alcohol distilling facility within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. We do not import product ready for bottling, bottlers with that limited scope exist. But ours is a fully manufacturing business. All phases of rum production are performed at the Bacardi distillery off Carmichael Road, including the fermentation, distillation, ageing, blending, processing and bottling.
The Bacardi distilling column is the most prominent structure at the facility. A new column has recently been constructed which will increase the yearly production. After distillation, the rum is put into charred oak barrels and placed into one of seven ageing warehouses. The ageing process is essential in rum production as this is what gives Bacardi Rum the smoothness and richness for which it is known worldwide.
Bacardi has a bulk rum terminal located at Clifton Pier which serves as a holding facility for both molasses, which is imported from Latin America, as well as Bacardi rum which is ready for export.
The company has been continuously expanding, improving, modernizing and reinvesting in our operations in the Bahamas. For example, in the past few years, we invested millions of dollars for the installation of new bottling equipment, tanks, warehouses, extension and renovation of both the quality control laboratory and operations office and a bulk terminal at Clifton Pier. The acquisition of new equipment in the rum plant increased capacity to produce over 20 million liters of rum per year and a new bottling line installed in the 1980’s allows us to bottle up to 500,000 cases per year.
Additionally, we are now using some of our by-products – like CO2 - to industrialize and sell locally. Another such by-product is water. One of the principal ingredients to our rum is water and we produce more than 95,000 gallons of distilled water per day.
Our commitment in the Bahamas included a leadership taken to organize a joint venture company called Waterfields Company Limited to produce over two million gallons per day of desalinized water for The Government of the Bahamas. This water is within the World Health standards for potable water and is about 25% of the total daily consumption of New Providence. We are proud to say that this is the largest Desalination Plant within the Caribbean Region. In an effort to concentrate on its core business Bacardi & Company Limited sold the Waterfields Company Limited in 2003.
Restoration of Vendue House into a National Museum called “Pompey Museum” was made possible by a grant from Bacardi & Company Limited in the amount of $300,000.00 in commemoration of the Quincentennial Celebrations. In the field of Education, a donation of approximately $150,000.00 was made to two local private schools and to the Catholic Diocese of the Bahamas. The Company constructed a Recreational Park and Bus Shelter at a cost of $62,000.00 for the residents of the Adelaide Constituency where the Bacardi Plant is located. The park consists of a fenced in basketball court with lighting and a fully paved bus stop with two bus shelters with benches. Donations of $25,000.00 were made to The Ranfurly Home for Children to assist in the expansion and remodeling of the facility and $25,000.00 toward the construction of The Hopedale Center for children with special needs. Allocations of $100,000.00 for charitable and civic donations are made to various associations in the Community on an annual basis.
The result of our Bahamian experience proves the level of success that can be obtained when private enterprise and the public sector, having the common objective of economic development, work together and cooperate with each other towards achieving that goal.
In our mission we pledge to maintain our position as the number one rum company in the Bahamas, to produce the highest quality products and to be recognized as the most socially responsible corporate citizen in the Bahamas.
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