Production restarts at Destilería Serrallés after earthquake

16th January, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

Destilería Serrallés, the maker of Don Q rum, has resumed production following a temporary shutdown due to earthquakes that hit Puerto Rico.

Destilería Serrallés is located in the city of Ponce on the island of Puerto Rico

At the end of December 2019 and in early January 2020, the southwestern part of the island of Puerto Rico was struck by an earthquake swarm.

On 10 January, Ponce-based Destilería Serrallés said it had resumed production and export operations. The firm said its “initial priority” was to ensure its employees and their families were safe.

In a statement, the company said it had “worked with external experts to assess the state of our facilities”.

“With no significant issues detected, we reactivated our rum production and shipments to our local clients, as well as to those in the United States and other export markets,” said Silvia Santiago, senior vice president of manufacturing.

“We will continue to inspect our facilities to ensure the safety of our employees and operations. Our barrels and stored rums were spared from any damage.”

Philippe Brechot, president and CEO of Destilería Serrallés, said: “Resuming our rum production and operations from Ponce has a positive impact in our local economy, currently starting to recover from this unforeseen situation.

“We extend our solidarity to communities and families facing hardships at this time and appreciate the concern and support of our clients, distributors, employees and collaborators both locally and around the world.”

Disaster relief 

Destilería Serrallés has pledged US$1 million to provide immediate disaster relief and essential services to those impacted by the earthquakes and tremors. The distillery is ensuring the funds provide direct aid to needy communities.

The company is currently looking for local non-profit organisations to collaborate with expeditiously.

In addition, the firm has opened two collection centres at Destilería Serrallés facilities in Mercedita and Guaynabo to assist with volunteer donations for necessities and first aid articles, as well as non-perishable foods.

The centres operate from 9am-4pm Monday-Friday.

“The entire team at Destilería Serrallés is committed to providing a helping hand and we are confident that this contribution will help alleviate some of the suffering while providing immediate supplies and direct services to assist our local communities in need,” said Brechot.

This is not the first time the company has halted production due a natural disaster. In October 2017, the distillery was shut down for several weeks after it was impacted by Hurricane Maria.

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