The move to mechanical harvesting ends the practice of burning the crops to remove excess foliage before reaping the core of the plant that is used in rum production.
Master blender Joy Spence said: “Burning the leaves off is a wonderful sight but it’s just not good for the environment. We’re now going straight into the cane fields and mechanically cutting the stalks from the leaves.”?The producer is also using bagasse fibres from the sugar cane after extraction to fuel its boiler, while other production waste is being recycled to irrigate crops.
Appleton has released its 30-year-old rum on to the UK market. Only 70 of the 1,440 bottles made will be available, with an rrp in the region of £600.
Supplier J Wray & Nephew UK said it was in talks with a prestige off-trade account about a listing.
Spence said: “It used to be the philosophy that we couldn’t produce anything unless it was at least 140,000 cases but now there’s a realisation that limited editions are a very good idea, so I’m sure we’ll have more of them in the future.”?The 30-year-old rum is bottled at 45% abv, against 43% for the other aged expressions in the Appleton range.