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What do you think, confidentially of course?


View Poll Results: How important is the environmental consciousness of the distiller?
Environmental consciousness is important but only affects 10% of my decision to buy. 21 47.73%
Environmental consciousness is important but only affects 20% of my decision to buy. 4 9.09%
Environmental consciousness is important but only affects 30% of my decision to buy. 3 6.82%
Environmental consciousness is important and affects 40% of my decision to buy. 1 2.27%
Environmental consciousness is important and affects 50% of my decision to buy. 6 13.64%
Environmental consciousness is important and affects 60% of my decision to buy. 4 9.09%
Environmental consciousness is important and affects 70% of my decision to buy. 3 6.82%
Environmental consciousness is very important and affects 80% of my decision to buy. 2 4.55%
90% of my decision to buy is based on the environmental consciousness of the distiller. 0 0%
100% of my decision to buy is based on the environmental consciousness of the distiller. 0 0%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-28-2008, 01:22 PM   #21
Edward Hamilton
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Hey we're all gonna die anyway, so enjoy the rum.....Scottes right. It's all about the rum. But if the Distillery is making a conscious decision for a greener way to produce rum, then I'm all for it...But if they're not and the rums GOOD......, Well wild horses pulling a plough, to save on fossil fuel being omitted into the ozone layer, couldn't stop me from sipping and savouring the rum. So as long as most of the rum companies keep re using bourbon, whisky and cognac barrel, (Saving Trees...Take note Bourbons), Keep on collecting CO2 from their fermentation tanks, (Slow down global warming) and keep using their waste as fertiliser, then I'm happy.
Cheers
Only a few rum distilleries actually collect and recycle the CO2 generated during fermentation. Using waste as fertilizer isn't all bad but there are much better ways to use the waste such as generating methane and using that to make steam for distillation, which compared to burning fossil fuels significantly reduces greenhouse gases.

Some spirits companies are looking at how their big glass bottles, which are never reused and only sometimes recycled, can be made more efficient for reducing the shipping and packaging weight.

The wine industry is beginning to discourage the use of the heaviest bottles which cost more to produce, ship and recycle.
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:51 AM   #22
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i never thought about this aspect. i do care about what is going around me. i will start keeping my eye on this. Thanks
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:18 PM   #23
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One of the main issues with "going green" is its cost prohibitiveness.

That being said, it is my 2nd most priority when we design our new distillery ( yes this could be happening in the very near future) to ensure that we are doing everything within our means to minimize our footprint on the earth.

From process water reclamation, to CO2 capture on the fermentation, to capturing and finding some purpose for the spent wash.

Being in California, we are at least lucky that our state government offers some help and coaching when considering major projects.

anyone taken a look a the Sierra Nevada Beer website? (http://www.sierranevada.com) that place is AMAZING.

If we could ever get a distillery with HALF that eco-consciousness, i could die happy.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:23 AM   #24
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I am always environmentally curious...but every time I try t' peek she WACKS me upside me noggin!
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:09 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Milicent View Post
After seeing the enviro-poll, I've been thinking about the issue lately. Just this morning, I heard an interview with Bill Haney who recently released "The Price of Sugar," which is a documentary re workers in the Dominican Republic's sugar fields. Apparently, the Haitian immigrants who do the majority of the work live in abysmal conditions that many have likened to slavery.

This report was especially interesting to me after having read up on Brugal rums in anticipation of trying their Extra Viejo. One statement I came across repeatedly was the use of cheap labor helps Brugal keep their prices low. Almost every mention of this was in favor since it helped the consumer in the end. It was unsettling at the time and even more so now that I now more about the situation.

I will do more research before making any final conclusions, but I will say I definitely won't be buying any more DR rums until I know more about where each distiller's sugar comes from and how the employees working the fields are treated.
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Originally Posted by Scottes View Post
I recently heard that the average income in Haiti is about $217 a year. A quick google shows a range from "under $200" to "$280" annually.
My father visited the Dominican Republic a couple of years ago and said that not only were the immigrant Haitian sugar cane workers earning very little, but many of them were there illegally and subsequently had no legal rights, being treated very much as second-class "citizens".

The reasons why Haitians try their luck in the DR are clear. Haiti is a mess. It's one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world, relying heavily on foreign aid and suffering from frequent natural disasters. It has long suffered at the hands of dictators, and has been brought to its knees by widespread desertification which has seen all but 2% of its forests destroyed. If you look at satellite images of Hispaniola you will see the stark contrast between the land on either side of the Haiti/DR border. Although this situation is said to be slowly improving, one side of the border is predominantly green, the other is totally brown.

http://scienceblogs.com/tfk/images/200608261953.jpg

Haiti is unable to feed its people or help itself. Two-thirds of the population do not have formal jobs and inflation is at 9%. Furthermore, 80% of its people live below the poverty line. The literacy rate is only 52.9% and foreign investment is practically non-existent. The authorities are under-funded and the government is ill-equipped. A recent school-collapse which killed dozens of children required calling in overseas assistance because the local authorities could not cope on their own.

A recent article published in the National Geographic magazine looked at the effect which deforestation has had on Haiti. A photograph of a dirt poor Haitian woman selling cakes made from clay perfectly illustrates the desperate plight of the Haitian people.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/20...il/bourne-text

In view of all this, it is easy to see why many Haitians try their luck in the DR. Even so-called "slave-like" conditions must be preferable to starvation.

So, what has this got to do with rum? Many of you will know and perhaps even regularly drink Rhum Barbancourt, which is from Haiti. I've often wondered how the distiller manages to produce such fine rums in a country which appears to be in crisis. The Barbancourt 15 year old Reserve du Domaine costs at least Ј32 here in the UK. That works out to be around $50 US at the current exchange rate, or approximately one fifth of the average annual salary in Haiti. How should I feel about this as I open a bottle? I’m not sure.
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:49 AM   #26
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I would think the more Barbancourt you drink the more you are helping the econmy in Haiti. Barbancourt are one of the biggest employers in the country if not the biggest. We buy their rhum by the 20' container load, surely the more I buy the more people have to be employed to produce the rhum. Most of my staff are Haitian and are obviously here for econmic reasons. Haiti is certainly the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and I don't think it's even close.
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:26 PM   #27
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Considering that most of us are from countries that use a disproportionate amount of goods, services and energy, drive SUV's and create at least 30% of world pollution, we are hardly in a position to hold forth.

We are all hypocrites.

After we solve our own issues, we may then be in a position to cast stones.
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:39 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Bill View Post
Considering that most of us are from countries that use a disproportionate amount of goods, services and energy, drive SUV's and create at least 30% of world pollution, we are hardly in a position to hold forth.

We are all hypocrites.

After we solve our own issues, we may then be in a position to cast stones.
Depending upon one's position, this thread had evolved or devolved into Opinions on Social Awareness.

I am not against this discussion. It simply may need it's own thread.

I see no "casting of stones" here.

Care be to those who live in glass houses.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:10 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by TheRumelier View Post
I would think the more Barbancourt you drink the more you are helping the econmy in Haiti. Barbancourt are one of the biggest employers in the country if not the biggest. We buy their rhum by the 20' container load, surely the more I buy the more people have to be employed to produce the rhum. Most of my staff are Haitian and are obviously here for econmic reasons. Haiti is certainly the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and I don't think it's even close.
Rumelier, I think you're probably right! The success of Barbancourt rums can only be a good thing for the Haitian economy. It would be nice if more of the money spent on the rums here in the UK actually went to the people who produce it, and particularly to those lower down in the pyramid who earn very modest wages, rather than to the UK government through excessive taxation.
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:27 PM   #30
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I see no "casting of stones" here. Care be to those who live in glass houses.
What? Huh? If you're going to mix your metaphors, I'd suggest a nice glass co-mingling bowl and a more sturdy wooden mixed-up spoon, lol...

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Happy holidays to all... and buy Barbancourt!

Last edited by Bill; 11-27-2008 at 01:38 PM.
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