Bacardi shifts production in Puerto Rico distillery to hand sanitiser

The Bacardi Corporation distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico.

A shift in production by Bacardi at the world’s largest premium rum distillery is helping supply ethanol required to produce the much-needed hand sanitisers that are in high demand as a result of Covid-19.

The Bacardi Corporation distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico, where more than 80% of Bacardi’s rum is produced, has partnered with Puerto Rico based manufacturer Olein Refinery to provide raw materials that will enable the production of more than 1.7 million units of 10oz hand sanitiser. At 70% alcohol, these products are in line with the recommendations by the World Health Organization for containing the spread of the virus.

Over half a million of the 10oz hand sanitiser units produced in partnership with Bacardi will be donated to local communities. Bacardi has begun distribution of the free hand sanitisers, made with the ethanol provided by Bacardi distillery, along with disinfectants produced by Olein, to USPS workers, firefighters and police. The company plans to expand distribution from the week beginning 23 March to non-profit organisations including Fondos Unidos (United Way). Bacardi employees and contractors also received the free product.

“This is a family-owned business and we know what it means to take care of a community in need,” said Jose Class, VP, Supply Chain & Manufacturing, for Bacardi Latin America and the Caribbean.

“In the 158 years of Bacardi, we’ve endured our share of challenging times and have learned that resilience, optimism and community are what will help us come out stronger.”

The temporary shift in production began on 17 March 2020 and will continue as needed. This emergency action will not disrupt the production or supply of Bacardi rum.

“We are extremely grateful to Bacardi for adjusting its production to provide us with raw material so that we may ramp up production of the disinfectants we need to help keep the people of Puerto Rico safe,” said Jorge González, president of Olein Refinery.

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