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“Mauritius must produce high-quality rum to establish a strong international presence”

The 20/20 stores, L’Occitane en Provence, M.A.C Cosmetics, Gaviscon… These names probably sound familiar. But do you know who is behind these brands and products? It’s Grays—the commercial branch of the Terra Group—located in Beau Plan. Grays initially made its mark through its core business of spirit production. Over the years, the Group has diversified to also focus on perfumery, pharmaceuticals, high-end cosmetics, and consumer goods, among others.


According to Alexis Harel, the Managing Director, the strength of Grays lies in its employees and its diversity. Today, 40% of the management team is composed of women. Two years ago, the percentage was lower. And while Grays’ team is 99% Mauritian overall, the Group also leverages international experience from Venezuela, South Africa, and Europe. Grays represents a multitude of small, independent activities with their own sales teams to specialise and remain dynamic in each area.


We find diversity in all its splendour truly important,” Alexis Harel stated during a ‘Corporate Breakfast’ with the media on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. He added that the aim of Grays is to “Bring Pleasure to Life”, its mission “To Live our Brands through a Passionate Team,” and its vision to “Be the Most Trusted and Sustainable Brand Leader.


For Alexis Harel, the two key terms are “trust” and “sustainability”. The key figures of 92 years of existence, 500 employees, and 2787 direct clients are a testament to that.



High-Quality Rum and Spirits: A Niche That Deserves Its Place

Grays places significant emphasis on high-quality rum for export. “Our goal is firstly to grow the category in Mauritius and, secondly, to expand our rums internationally, including our three brands: New Grove, Lazy Dodo, and Mauritia. We believe that Mauritius must produce high-quality rum to establish a strong international presence because, today, we remain a small player and a not well-known destination,” the Managing Director says.


Regarding wine, Grays offers two ranges: one available in supermarkets, and another available in 20/20 stores. Thus, Grays does not compete with its clients, but rather complements them, offering a range found in 20/20 stores and another found in the hospitality sector, for example.


Sustainable Economy: A Real Priority

A sustainable economy is indeed a priority for us,” Alexis Harel affirms. The majority of Grays’ electricity needs are met through renewable energy. For instance, the boiler at Grays runs on renewable energy. All distilled alcohol that is not consumable is burned. The Group also recycles cardboard, caps, and plastic packaging.


Our suppliers are carefully chosen. We ensure no child labour is involved, and they comply with strict standards. So, we select our suppliers based on shared values. It’s true that we work a lot with suppliers in China and other countries, but for us, it’s important to be a transmission chain, ensuring that what we provide to consumers meets expectations,” Alexis Harel reassures.


Grays’ Green Initiative 

Grays has also embarked on a project to recover well water. The Group has installed tanks to collect this water. “We consume approximately 15,000 cubic metres of water per year. So, with water recovery, we aim to achieve 30% initially, and then move to a second phase to reach up to 50%. That means recovering water for new uses such as car washing, truck washing, and toilets,” Jocelyn de Chasteauneuf, the Finance Director, explains.


Additionally, the Mauritian group is now the official accredited operator of ecoSPIRITS for Mauritius, and has introduced, for the first time, a sustainable and circular bottling technology. With ecoSPIRITS, Grays has an innovative closed-loop distribution system, eliminating single-use glass in its supply chain. The ecoSPIRITS installations were officially unveiled on Thursday, April 20, 2023, at the heart of Grays’ plant in Beau Plan.


The innovative ecoPLANT No. 033 allows Grays to serve its products in ecoTOTE containers, which are 4.5-litre glass containers, 30% smaller than a case of six bottles. These ecoTOTE containers are shock-resistant and secured with a traceability system (QR Code). They are delivered with a Smartpour or pour spout. The ecoPLANT No. 033 is a modern installation that combines cutting-edge technology and sustainable packaging.


Thus, Grays Inc. Ltd removes a significant number of glass bottles from circulation, reducing its carbon footprint. This innovation allows Grays to offer a sustainable and responsible solution to its partners, particularly its clients in the hospitality sector, while also acting as an operational partner for the processing of spirits in the region.


In fact, it’s a tote that can hold up to 4.5 litres. Instead of one bottle, it’s 9 bottles represented by the tote. This tote is used up to 100 times, which represents a significant bottle saving. We estimated this to be about 700 tonnes of glass per year,” the Finance Director adds.

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