Don Facundo Bacardí Massó revolutionized rum-making through a proprietary formula that included a unique strain of yeast and new distillation, charcoal-mellowing, filtering, aging and blending techniques. He bought a tin-roof distillery on February 4, 1862 for 3,500 pesos in Santiago de Cuba, planting a coconut palm known as “El Coco” which became the symbol of the brand’s prosperity.
Since that time, BACARDI rum has become a household name and the most awarded rum – and spirit – on the planet. A family-owned business spanning eight generations, the company employs nearly 6,000 people, operates production facilities in 29 countries and sells its products in more than 160 countries. The brand’s portfolio now includes more than 200 leading brands and premier labels, including BACARDI rum, GREY GOOSE vodka, DEWAR’S Blended Scotch whisky, BOMBAY and BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin, MARTINI vermouth and sparkling wines, and CAZADORES 100% blue agave tequila.
Both Bacardi Limited and the Bacardí family have demonstrated remarkable perseverance and innovation, surviving natural disasters, epidemics, political unrest, U.S. Prohibition, and the Cuban government’s seizure of all of their Cuban assets in 1960. The 2012 celebrations of Bacardi Limited’s 150th anniversary honored these family and company values of unity, passion, and pioneering spirit.
Nearly 500 family members gathered in Puerto Rico at Bacardi’s largest distillery to unveil a bust of founder Don Facundo and to plant a new coconut palm. Family legend holds that the coconut palm planted by Facundo Jr. at the original distillery in 1862 flourished and grew while the business thrived in Cuba. When company assets were seized by the Cuban government, however, El Coco withered and died. The new coconut palm sapling pays tribute to the company’s Cuban heritage and symbolizes prosperity and perseverance.
To conclude the year-long 150th anniversary celebration, Bacardi leadership assembled in Hamilton, Bermuda on December 13, 2012. A six-foot time capsule filled with mementos was ensconced in granite to be opened in 50 years at Bacardi’s 200th anniversary celebration. Items included a photo of family members encircling the iconic bat image at the celebration in Puerto Rico, a medal representing the more than 600 awards BACARDI rum has garnered to make it the world’s most awarded rum, and messages from current employees to future Bacardi employees in 2062.
Around the world, the occasion was marked by hundreds of birthday parties attended by celebrities and Bacardi fans. Print and media advertising campaigns celebrated Bacardi’s history and t-shirts, glassware and other souvenirs of the anniversary celebration were printed with the Bacardi bat and other iconic symbols. Eight Bacardí family master blenders created a limited edition rum for the occasion. Christened Ron Bacardi de Maestros Vintage MMXII, it came with a $2,000 price tag.
Today, the company’s long history of social responsibility – which began when Don Facundo volunteered to oversee recovery from the 1852 earthquake in Santiago de Cuba – continues to shape the company’s values. As Bacardi looks to the next 50 years, it does so with continued goals of corporate responsibility that encompass encouraging responsible drinking, maintaining high standards for health, safety and environmental concerns, responsibly sourcing components, safeguarding employee well-being, and participating in corporate philanthropy and involvement.
Revelers present at the 200th anniversary celebration of 2062 will toast a company at the forefront of corporate responsibility and an enterprise agile enough to continue to grow and stay ahead of market trends.