The premium rum brand has become an industry leader for its sustainable practices, being the world’s only spirit to be both Carbon Neutral and Fair Trade certified.
Few companies in the world can boast more than a century of heritage, remaining a family business across five generations and holding the world’s top sustainability credentials: Carbon Neutral and Fair Trade. That’s Flor de Caña Rum, who has been nestled at the base of an active volcano producing its unique brand of sustainably made rums since 1890. This is its story.
In 1875, Alfredo Francisco Pellas Canessa, a young adventurer from Genoa, Italy, left behind his family and the comforts of the old continent to travel to the exotic country of Nicaragua. After a series of successful business ventures, in 1890 he came across the country’s most fertile lands, right at the base of Nicaragua’s tallest and most active volcano: the San Cristóbal.
Fascinated by the landscape, he decided it was the perfect spot to establish an agro-industrial mill and later a distillery. Time proved him right. The fertility of the soil, the mineral-rich water and the hot volcanic climate to which the barrels are exposed, come together to give Flor de Caña the exceptionally smooth flavour it is known for. 130 years later, Flor de Caña Rum, which is aged naturally without sugar or artificial ingredients, is present in over 70 countries and its quality has earned it the industry’s highest distinction: “Best Rum Producer of the Year” by the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London.
Being ahead of his time, Alfredo Francisco instilled sustainability as a central element of the business from the start. “Sustainability is embedded deep in our brand’s DNA,” says Flor de Caña’s Global Ambassador Mauricio Solórzano. “It’s been part of the founding family’s core values since the early days of Flor de Caña, passed down from generation to generation.”
In 2017, Flor de Caña became Fair Trade certified (by U.S.-based organization Fair Trade USA), assuring consumers that the rum is sustainably produced in compliance with over 300 rigorous labour, social and environmental standards. Further raising the bar on sustainability for the global spirits industry, in April 2020 Flor de Caña became carbon neutral certified (by U.K.-based organization Carbon Trust), after demonstrating the brand offsets all carbon emissions during the entire production process of the rum, from field to bottle.
With the environment contributing so much to the quality of the distillery’s line-up of premium rums, the company has been implementing a series sustainable practices for a while. Since 2005, in an effort to protect wildlife and water resources, the company has planted 50,000 trees every year in the region surrounding the distillery. For more than a decade, it has distilled its rums using 100% renewable energy generated from biomass, eliminating its dependency on fossil fuels. It also captures and recycles all CO2 emissions generated during the fermentation process, which are then sold to breweries and soft drinks industries in the region.
Flor de Caña’s efforts to lead the way as a sustainable brand go beyond its care for the environment, it also includes its employees and the community. Since 1913, Flor de Caña has offered free education to the children of employees at the company school, and since 1958, the brand has provided free healthcare to employees and their families at the company hospital.
Flor de Caña has also been the main donor of APROQUEN for almost 30 years, a non-profit that has provided over 600,000 free medical services to children suffering from burns or from cleft lip and palate, and for more than 15 years the brand has proudly supported the non-profit American Nicaraguan Foundation in working to alleviate poverty in Nicaragua through various social programs.
And so, in 2020, Flor de Caña commemorates 130 years of passion for excellence, producing premium quality rums in a sustainable manner. But nestled in the shadow of a towering volcano, among the emerald forests that surround the distillery, Flor de Caña does not take its achievements for granted. The brand is looking to the future, to further expand its commitment to sustainability, staying true to its values and becoming a point of reference for the industry.
Discover Flor de Caña’s range of sustainably produced rums, with zero sugar content, aged up to 30 years: www.flordecana.com.