Tuesday, 18 January, 2022
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Goa brewery offers free hand sanitiser refills to anyone who shows up with empty bottles

Goa Brewing Co. a two-year-old venture, has announced that it will provide bottles of hand gels free of cost to health workers and hospitals.

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New Delhi: Amid shortage of hand sanitisers driven by coronavirus fears, a two-year-old beer brewing company in Goa has announced that it will provide hand gels free of cost to local villagers, health workers, hospitals and government offices. 

Called the ‘Goa Brewing Co.’, the firm will offer free refills to anyone who shows up at the brewery, located in North Goa’s Sangolda, with an empty bottle or a container. 

To hospitals and health workers, it is offering bottles free of cost. 

Ashtavinayak Paradh, chief brewer and co-founder of Goa Brewing Co., explained that while the brewery doesn’t yet have the license to produce hand sanitisers, it has teamed up with a Pune-based chemical manufacturer to procure bulk quantities of the product in order to make them freely available. 

“There is a huge shortage of hand sanitisers in Goa right now because of the coronavirus pandemic. There are lots of other herbal, organic variants in the markets across the country. But the hand sanitiser refills we are providing contain 70 per cent alcohol, which is the ideal formula,” he told ThePrint.

People in several parts of the globe have started panic-buying hand sanitisers, which has led to a huge shortage of the product and prices are shooting through the roof. 

Instances of hoarding, like the curious case of a man in the US who bought 17,700 bottles of hand sanitiser, have made matters worse.

In India, local drugstores and online sites like Amazon are all sold out.  

“We are a start-up and want to contribute to society under our Corporate Social Responsibility programme. We have put in almost all our budget in procuring the sanitisers,” added Parad.  


Also read: Skill centres in Delhi are making 500 masks a day to meet demand amid coronavirus crisis


Perfume, vodka makers to the rescue

In this global crisis, many renowned alcohol distilleries and even perfume manufacturers are switching over from their regular products to make hand sanitiser gels. 

Earlier this week, the world’s largest perfume manufacturing company LVMH — the parent firm of luxury brands Givenchy, Louis Vuitton and Dior — said all its manufacturing units would now produce hand sanitisers instead of fragrances. 

Quick to follow suit was alcohol giant Pernod Ricard USA, which makes Absolut Vodka, Jameson Irish Whisky, Malibu & Kahlua. 

While LVMH will provide its products to about 39 hospitals in France, Pernod Ricard is closely working with US federal officials, including Peter Navarro, assistant to the President for trade and manufacturing, to overcome regulatory hurdles and obtain the necessary approvals to produce American-made hand sanitiser. 

Even Bacardi, the world’s largest premium rum distillery partner, is working to combat shortages in Puerto Rico. 

Several other smaller outfits like Scotland-based beer company BrewDog and New York-based vodka company Air Co. are doing the same.

Many of these new manufacturers are following a World Health Organization-prescribed recipe which includes isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol to make the hand gels. 

Like the Goa brewery, the issue of getting licence to make sanitisers was faced by several global craft distilleries too, such as the Berkshire Mountain Distillers in Sheffield in Massachusetts and the 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company in Colorado. 

But the US government was quick in its response to waive parts of a federal law Wednesday to allow distilleries to “immediately commence production of hand sanitiser” without needing to obtain authorisation first.


Also read: 1994 Surat plague has many lessons for India on how to beat coronavirus


 

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