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Windward Island Sunshinin

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Cane Commute

Crows Nest crew are globetrotting again already this year, and the first port of call is in The Caribbean.

Carney is joined by the very talented Alfredo Caliz as the pair explore the philosophy and attitude of the beautiful island Grenada.  The volcanic island paradise is the perfect location to capture in stunning 4k with silky stretches of white sand beaches, and unspoilt landscapes undiscovered by crowds.  Another of Grenada's attributes is the incredibly fertile soil and in the last 3 years agriculture on the island has been reinvigorated.  Crows Nest Films are there once again to document developments in the farming and production of sugar cane.  Carney is concentrating on the stories working alongisde the magnificent Alfredo who photographically encapsulates souls in his arresting stills, doubling the content for CaneCo and Renegade.

This collaborative effort between the new companies and the people of Grenada will create high quality rum for exportation and CaneCo is now one of the island’s biggest employers, with 120 regular team members, and an additional 25 seasonal staff.  Carney has been documenting the team, commuting with them, and getting a birds eye view of them in the fields with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone and CaneCo have a drone of their own.  The aerial agricultural equipment will massively improve access to the fields and the efficiency of the

operation as cane can grow up to 10 feet tall.  Carney has also been conducting interviews with BJ, Graham and the management team there including the recently appointed farm managers, Aquart Lewis and Devon McSween, who are responsible for the Southern and Northern farms.  

Sugar cane production on the island had been dormant for a number of years when, in September 2016, the Sugar Cane Farmers Assocation were prompted into action by a government backed initiative launched by Renegade and Westerhall Rum.  Grenada is now enjoying a rejuvenation with new, clean, disease-resistant varieties of sugar cane.  With its hilly terrain, altitude range, volcanic and alluvial soils there is a good variety of terroirs for cane.  CaneCo cultivate, propogate and farm superior sugarcane for Renegade Rum Distillery and have been working with local farmers to change the future of cane growth on the island with a proactive environmental management plan.

CaneCo have now added four tractors (increasing the island’s total by 50%) to the fleet, a 26 ton excavator, a 5 ton mini excavator, trailers, tankers, shredder, two trucks, cane ‘thumpers’ harvesters, and assorted agricultural tools, spares and associated equipment.  Parts are coming in from around the globe.  Wending their way to the windward islands are shipping containers filled with all the components to make a state of the art distillery.  Stills are crossing the atlantic from Scotland and the mills are coming up from Brazil.  Due to the site's location, all of the equipment has to fit into a shipping container and will then be built on site.  

CEO Mark Reynier is also out in Grenada this week as it's all hands on deck to get the distillery site at Meadows up and running by the summer.  Renegade are building a bespoke facility including a distillery, mill and maturation warehouse.  Initially the warehouse will safely house the component parts of the facility before they are assembled.  Renegade Rum's distillate will be matured on the island, surrounded by the cane fields it came from, in oak barrels before being brought to the market around 2021.

Carney first met Alfredo whilst working for Bruichladdich, one of Mark Reynier's former projects.  Carl Reavey was Head of Communications at the time, and knew that the boys would complement each other creatively.  This week marks the anniversary of our dear friend Carl's passing and we think he would have been happy to know that the team he brought together continue to enjoy their collaboration as lensmates.  To you, Carl x.

Next up, Ed Henderson's off to Sweden.  More on that next week.