Alcohol firms join cause to produce hand sanitiser

The Scotch Whisky Association is launching an online portal to help with the supply of hand sanitiser to frontline health and social services, emergency services, local communities and other industries in need of it across the UK.

The Fife firm has produced 30 litres of hand sanitiser.

The news comes as a Scottish gin distillery announced it has completed production on its first batch of the product.

Darnley’s Gin, created on the site of Kingsbarns Distillery on the outskirts of St. Andrews, has produced 30 litres of the gel which will be distributed free of charge to churches, care homes and businesses around the local area.

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William Wemyss, founder and managing director of Darnley’s Gin and Kingsbarns Distillery, said: “Our distilling and production have taken a pause whilst we lend our support; the hand sanitiser will be available for local people, our team and their families to ensure their safety throughout these challenging times. Our focus is on keeping people safe and continuing to support one another, our partners and our customers during this time.”

The SWA said a number of Scotch Whisky producers can either supply high-strength alcohol for the production of hand sanitiser or produce hand sanitiser themselves, with some distillers able to do this at scale.

The body is working closely with government and relevant authorities, including HMRC and the Health & Safety Executive and now have a green light from regulators to follow WHO guidelines in the production of hand sanitiser from denatured alcohol.

SWA chief executive Karen Betts said: “Distillers want to support health services on the frontline of fighting coronavirus wherever we can.

“We now have the green light from government, which means that our distilleries can supply high-strength alcohol to existing hand sanitiser producers where they are running low on stocks. We can also produce hand sanitiser at some Scotch Whisky sites, for local provision or – with the right packaging and distribution partners – for provision at scale to those organisations who need it urgently.”