Diageo pledges eight million bottles of hand sanitiser worldwide

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags coronavirus

Spirits giant Diageo has pledged to provide more than eight million bottles of hand sanitiser – through donating two million litres of alcohol to manufacturing partners – in the fight against COVID-19.

The sanitiser will be sent to frontline healthcare workers in the UK, Ireland, Italy, the US, Brazil, Kenya, India and Australia – in what Diageo describes as an unprecedented global response.

Diageo – whose brands include Guinness, Johnnie Walker and Baileys – will provide Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS), a 96% strength ethyl alcohol used primarily in production of vodka and gin, at no cost to hand sanitiser producers. This will enable the production of more than eight million 250ml bottles of hand sanitiser.

The plan includes:

  • The UK and the Republic of Ireland: 500,000 litres of GNS to be made available for national healthcare systems and workers
  • Italy: 100,000 litres of GNS to support the healthcare system and other national needs
  • US: 500,000 litres of GNS to be supplied to meet local community needs
  • Brazil: Diageo’s Ypioca plant will produce 50,000 litres of spirit for the local healthcare system, in conjunction with the Ceara State Government.
  • Kenya: Diageo’s East Africa Breweries Ltd will contribute to production of 135,000 litres of sanitiser, prioritising vulnerable and at risk groups.
  • India: 500,000 litres of alcohol for the sanitizer industry across 25 States, for use in national healthcare systems and for consumers.
  • Australia: Diageo’s Bundaberg Distilling Co. to produce 100,000 litres of ethanol for the Queensland Government, to be forwarded to hand sanitiser manufacturers.

UK support

In the UK, Diageo is launching a new information phone line that will be available to support licensed business owners who want to access the commercial measures announced by the Government.

The phone line, 0207 728 2556, went live yesterday and is free to call. The service is also available via email: Publican.Support@uk.gt.com

The new line is provided by Grant Thornton UK LLP, a business and financial adviser, and will give information to customers, from both the on and off-trade.

The UK shut all pubs, bars and restaurants on Friday evening. Diageo has also made £1m available to support bartenders in the free trade across Great Britain and will be providing complimentary training and online learning available for all bartenders.

It will also support smaller retailers, pubs and bars through increasing its flexibility on order sizes.

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