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Consumers lament shortage of some alcoholic beverages

Bar and wholesale operators as well as Chairman of the Spirits Pool Association Clement "Jimmy" Lawrence
By Javaughn Keyes
 
Consumers are finding it difficult to get some alcoholic beverages, as it appears there may be a shortage of some lines, especially rum.
 
Radio Jamaica News spoke with some bar and wholesale operators, who say the inconsistent supply is affecting business, especially leading up to the Christmas holidays.
 
"We can’t get rum now. Dem seh rum scarce and a bare quart rum dem a sell and the customer dem seh dem nuh want no quart rum because dem tamper with quart rum. We can’t get the Imperial, we can’t get flask rum, and when dem a gi you di quart rum, dem a tell you seh a two dem a gi you or one, or you haffi buy sup'm wid it," said Julene, a St. Elizabeth bar operator.

"When you go back fi buy one rum dem nah sell you di rum unless you buy sup'm else," another bar operator in St. Elizabeth agreed. 

Moses Chybar Jr, the operator of a wholesale in Westmoreland, noted that the shortage has come at an inconvenient time considering these alcoholic beverages are widely used by Jamaicans during the Christmas period. 

Clement "Jimmy" Lawrence, Chairman of the Spirits Pool Association, explained that rum producers are still facing supply chain issues, making it difficult to meet demand for their products. 
 
Four major local rum suppliers - Worthy Park, National Rums of Jamaica, Wray and Nephew and Hampden - are members of the Spirits Pool Association.
 
"I know for example that a number of the producers locally have issues, for example, with their glass bottle supply…among other things," Mr. Lawrence revealed, adding that they are trying to balance these issues with a surge in export demand. 
 
He said weather-related issues, such as heavy rains, have also been affecting the production of rum products.  
 
Smaller players have been trying to capitalise on the low supply from the established brands, but Mr. Lawrence said this is not enough. 
 
He said the companies have expedited orders of goods with hopes of meeting the local demand.
 
While it is a tight window, Mr. Lawrence is optimistic things could improve as the busy Christmas period draws closer.
 


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