Red Stripe has appointed Safia Cooper to take charge of its Scotch, Reserve and Liqueur portfolio in Jamaica, as the traditional beer manufacturer looks towards increasing its presence in the local spirits market.
Cooper’s official job title — effective from December 1 — is brand manager scotch, reserve liqueurs –Jamaica. She will manage the Johnnie Walker range, J&B, Ciroc, Zacapa, Don Julio Tequila, Baileys, Nuvo, Wines and Gins
“Safia comes to this role to chart a new destiny on these brands which are integral to our spirits agenda. She will be challenged with driving strategic growth on these brands, charting the commercial agenda and creating a real scotch category in Jamaica with support from the regional Scotch team,” said Red Stripe in a press release last week.
Cooper has spent the last three years as Red Stripe brand manager. During this time, the company said, she led the launch of Red Stripe Bold, including the new “Stand Out” campaign for the brand. Red Stripe added that she also played a key role in its “music re-entry strategy” and contributed significantly to its “strategic plans on a post tax-reform beverage industry in Jamaica”.
Cooper holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Relations from the University of the West Indies and a Masters in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University.
Government recently set taxes at a fixed level for all spirits except overproof rum. But Red Stripe managing director Alan Barnes last week charged that the company was at a disadvantage in the market because its largely imported spirits line attracts additional taxes of 35 per cent.
“This is an additional 35 per cent tax, and this in no way creates a level playing field. There is a vast difference between the tax on Appleton Special and Baileys or Zacapa Rum. This makes operating our business highly expensive and leads to questions about the viability of certain business lines,” said Barnes.