Trade and Production Adjustments in ACP Countries: Lessons from the Caribbean Rum Programme


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    The origins of the Integrated Development Programme for the Caribbean Rum Sector can be found in the unilateral decision of the European Union (EU) to liberalise access to the EU rum market under an EU/US agreement. Under this agreement, the trade preferences for traditional African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) rum were de facto eroded. Being aware of the challenges this unilateral action would give rise to, Caribbean governments immediately gave voice to the concerns of rum producers and opened the dialogue with the EU in order to find an appropriate policy response. With the start of the negotiations on a successor agreement to the Lomé convention, the Caribbean rum industry intensified its lobbying efforts for the inclusion of specific provisions aimed at supporting the rum sector. This resulted in December 1999 in the joint ACP-EU declaration on rum, which included the EU commitment to finance ‘an integrated sector specific programme for the development of ACP exporters of rum’. This joint declaration provided the basis for the subsequent Caribbean rum programme, whose main objectives consisting in (i) enhancing the competitiveness of existing exporters of rum in the Caribbean region, (ii) assisting in the creation of a rum marque or brands by region/countries and (iii) enabling the design and implementation of marketing campaigns

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