• World’s largest distiller in unprecedented global response in the UK, Ireland, the USA, Brazil, Kenya and Australia
• Pledge aimed at protecting front-line healthcare workers and overcome shortages
• Donation of alcohol is enough to produce more than five million bottles of hand sanitiser
Diageo, maker of Johnnie Walker & Smirnoff, 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.
The world’s leading distiller will provide Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS) – a 96% strength ethyl alcohol used primarily in production of vodka and gin – and make it available 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.
Diageo continues to engage with national and local governments across the many countries where the company has major distilling operations. The spirit will be made available in supply chains according to local circumstances, working with the relevant authorities and hand sanitiser manufacturers. This will ensure the donation is used for maximum impact in protecting health workers and patients and that sanitiser reaches the front-line as quickly as possible.
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 across the UK and Ireland.
• North America: 250,000 litres of GNS to be supplied to meet local community needs
• 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.
• Kenya: Diageo’s East Africa Breweries Ltd will provide 100,000 litres of ethanol to supply to a local sanitiser manufacturer.
• Australia: Diageo’s Bundaberg rum distillery to produce 100,000 litres of ethanol to the Queensland Government, to be forwarded to hand sanitiser manufacturers.
“Health care workers are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic and we are determined to do what we can to help protect them,” said Ivan Menezes, Diageo Chief Executive. “This is the quickest and most effective way for us to meet the surging demand for sanitiser around the world.”