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Maison Ferrand to change Plantation Rum's "hurtful" name

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French spirits group Maison Ferrand is to rename its Plantation Rum because of the branding's "hurtful connotation".

Maison Ferrand said it wants to be "on the side of actions and solutions"

Maison Ferrand said it wants to be "on the side of actions and solutions"

The company said today the name change is in support of racial equality and comes amid a "global dialogue" on the subject. The new name will be announced at a later date.

"We understand the hurtful connotation the word 'plantation' can evoke to some people, especially in its association with much graver images and dark realities of the past," said Plantation Rum's master blender, Alexandre Gabriel. "We look to grow in our understanding of these difficult issues. While we don't currently have all the details of what our brand name evolution will involve, we want to let everyone know that we are working to make fitting changes."

Stephanie Simbo, Plantation Rum's global brand manager, added: "We pride ourselves on making delicious rum for people to enjoy and never want any part of their experience to create feelings of discomfort. To that end, we want to be on the side of actions and solutions."

The move comes after a number of food companies announced they would rename some of their products in response to Black Lives Matter protests. Earlier this month, PepsiCo said it would change the brand name and logo of US pancake mixes and syrups brand Aunt Jemima after acknowledging its "origins are based on a racial stereotype". Mars swiftly followed, announcing "now is the right time to evolve" the Uncle Ben's rice and sauces brand, including its visual brand identity.

The Plantation portfolio includes Plantation Pineapple Stiggins' Fancy (rolled out to the US last year), 3 Stars White, Original Dark, Grande Reserve 5 Year Old, 20th Anniversary XO and a group of single-country vintage-dated rums. In 2017, Maison Ferrand bought the West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados to support production for Plantation Rum.

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