Diageo Pledges Free Alcohol For Production of Millions of Bottles of Hand Sanitizer


Three months into the Coronavirus pandemic which has claimed over 12,000 lives and left at least 200,000 others infected globally, according to latest statistics from the World Health Organization, there has been an acute shortage of hand sanitizers in the affected countries, with greedy business persons hoarding what is left and selling them at an inflated price.

While masses have been urged that the best way to kill the virus it through regular washing of hands with soap or alternatively using hand sanitizers, manufacturers are struggling to meet the insatiable demand for the products while at the same time they have to incur extra costs in sourcing for ethyl alcohol, a key ingredient in the production of hand sanitizers, which has become a jewel.

The world’s leading distiller, Diageo, has today pledged to enable the creation of more than five million bottles of hand sanitiser, by donating over a million litres of alcohol to manufacturing partners, to help protect front-line healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19. Diageo will provide Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS), a 96% strength ethyl alcohol used primarily in the production of vodka and gin at no cost to hand sanitiser producers, to help overcome shortages in healthcare systems. This donation will enable the production of more than five million 250ml bottles of hand sanitiser.

“Health care workers are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic and we are determined to do what we can to help protect them. This is the quickest and most effective way for us to meet the surging demand for sanitiser around the world,” said Ivan Menezes, Diageo Chief Executive.

Where Diageo has major distilling operations, it has continued to engage with national and local governments to avail the spirit in supply chains. Here is a breakdown of the multimillion plan.

  1.  The UK and the Republic of Ireland: 500,000 litres of GNS to be made available for national healthcare systems and workers across the UK and Ireland.
  2.  North America: 250,000 litres of GNS to be supplied to meet local community needs
  3. Brazil: Diageo’s Ypioca plant will produce 200,000 litres of spirit for the local health care system, in conjunction with the Ceara State Government.
  4. Kenya: Diageo’s East Africa Breweries Ltd will provide 100,000 litres of ethanol to supply to a local sanitiser manufacturer.
  5. Australia: Diageo’s Bundaberg rum distillery to produce 100,000 litres of ethanol to the Queensland Government, to be forwarded to hand sanitiser manufacturers.