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Diageo donates 2m litres of alcohol for hand sanitiser

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo has pledged to donate enough alcohol to create more than eight million bottles of hand sanitiser for frontline workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Diageo’s portfolio includes Johnnie Walker blended Scotch whisky

The world’s largest spirits producer will donate up to two million litres of alcohol to manufacturing partners to produce hand sanitiser for health care workers during the pandemic.

Smirnoff maker Diageo will provide neutral grain spirit (NGS) for free to hand sanitiser producers in a number of countries to tackle shortages in health care systems. The contribution will ensure the creation of more than eight million 250ml bottles of the disinfectant.

The spirit will be available in supply chains “according to local circumstances” to ensure it is used for “maximum impact” and that it reaches the frontline as soon as possible.

“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, CEO of Diageo. “This is the quickest and most effective way for us to meet the surging demand for hand sanitiser around the world.”

In the UK and the Republic of Ireland, 500,000 litres of NGS will be offered, while Italy will receive 100,000 litres.

The US will gain 500,000 litres to meet community needs, and Diageo’s Ypioca plant in Brazil will produce 50,000 litres for the local health care system.

In India, 500,000 litres of alcohol will be provided across 25 states for both the health care system and consumers.

The Bundaberg Distilling Company will make 100,000 litres of ethanol for the Queensland government in Australia.

Diageo’s East Africa Breweries will enable production of 135,000 litres of hand sanitiser for vulnerable and at risk groups in Kenya.

Drinks giant Diageo is among a large number of spirits producers meeting demand for hand sanitiser production, including Pernod Ricard, Bacardi and Brewdog.

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