Rum Requires Protection
As of 1945, worldwide over-production entails thorough restructuring of the sugar industry in mainland France, as well as a serious crisis in the rum and sugar industries in Martinique due to development in economic and social conditions. Such a change in the sugarcane farming sector lasts nearly twenty years and induces the shut-down of all the sugar factories — except Galion, which also remains the last plant to produce rum from the sugar works.
The agricultural distilleries maintain their rum producing activities, but in 1955, a decree destined to reorganize the production process, in fact entails its quasi disappearance. Although, in 1934, there were still eighty-six rum distilleries, today there remain but nine … Rum production is still the leading agricultural resource of the island. Local consumption covers 30% of sales; exports to mainland France, 65% and to other destinations, 5%.
Hence, marketing requirements have generated mergers and corporate reorganization. Such problems, to which we should add world economic and political fluctuation, have pushed producers to unite to defend their interests and have better — and quicker — access to data.
Acting Against a Broader Backdrop
This organization was formed gradually at various levels of administration. Hence, locally, the rum producers syndicate, Comité martiniquais d’organisation et de défense du marché du rhum (the Coderum) was created in 1960. Pooling all rum distillers together (agricultural as well as sugar works rum), its main aim is to organize sales and marketing, foster the regulating of the market, defend producers' interests and develop group communications in order to better promote the image of Martinique rum.
Created in 1992, the Martinique Syndicate for the Protection of Appellation d’Origine Agricultural Rum represents cane farmers delivering to agricultural distilleries as well as the distillers themselves; manages inspection of Martinique A.O.C. label of origin rum.
On the national level, since 1995, the Inter-professional Council of Traditional Rum of the French Overseas Regions brings together the producers of raw-materials, distillers and merchants. Finally, Eurodom, created in 1990 along with other labor & industry organizations in the French overseas regions of the Americas (D.O.Ms) has a permanent office in Brussels.