Distiller starts producing hand sanitiser to help meet need

The Reefton Distilling Co is producing hand sanitiser as per the World Health Organisation’s...
The Reefton Distilling Co is producing hand sanitiser as per the World Health Organisation’s guidelines. PHOTO: ODT FILES
The Reefton Distilling Co is switching from making liquor to also turning out hand sanitiser in response to shortages across the country caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

New Zealand has been desperately short of alcohol-based hand sanitiser since the pandemic broke out at the end of February, and in early March, the team at Reefton Distilling started thinking about how it could help.

With the capability to produce high-volume alcohol and the services of two University of Otago bachelor of science graduate distillers with science laboratory experience, staff decided they had the right knowledge, environment and equipment to start producing sanitiser.

"At first we thought that perhaps we could make a small batch to help out with shortages at a local level. However, it soon became apparent that a much larger volume and more co-ordinated approach was needed," company chief executive Patsy Bass said.

The team then set about creating hand sanitiser to meet World Health Organisation guidelines and has been working with supply chains to secure other key ingredients and bottles.

"Stock has started arriving and we anticipate we will be in a position to dispatch in approximately two weeks, both online via www.reeftondistillingco.com and in bulk to emergency services and other essential services," Ms Bass said.

"We are pleased to be able to switch our operation to help New Zealand in this small way."


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