The biggest deal in the rum world this week actually involves sugar, not rum. J. Wray & Nephew Limited, JWN, a Campari Grupo brand announced an equal (50/50) partnership with Worthy Park Estates to produce the Jamaica Gold sugar
Before we dive into details, let’s note that Jamaica Gold is a locally produced sugar marketed as “Nature’s Energy Food”. Yes, “energy food”.
Under the previous ownership, Jamaica Cane Products Sales Limited (JCPS), the company gained acclaim as the first to package Jamaican brown sugar for retail sale. However, it was commercial customers—including Wray and Worthy Park—that kept the company in the black. Also, three decades of a government granted monopoly on the local sugar trade didn’t hurt their finances.
Alas, Jamaican regulators began to grant licenses to other competitors over the past decade. The most recent licenses were issued in 2018 to… Wray and Worthy Park.
The decision was a deathblow to JCPS’ finances. In August, the company announced plans to sell off the brand and shutter their facilities.
A few months later, the new joint venture stepped in and acquired the brand. Although both companies are famed for their rums in the spirits world, they both also (logically) sell sugar.
“J. Wray & Nephew has responded to the bleak outlook by putting measures in place to improve operational efficiencies, reduce the size of its sugar operations and collaborating with other players in the industry such as Worth Park Estate,” Jean-Philippe Beyer, Managing Director of J. Wray & Nephew told the Jamaica Gleaner. This is a testament to the Campari Group’s commitment to contributing positively to Jamaica’s economy and its development.”
Wray and Worthy Park announced a commitment to build out their existing facilities to accommodate the expansion as well as plans to build a dedicated packaging plant.