Puerto Rico alcohol producer shifts to produce hand sanitizers

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By Caribbean News Global contributor

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Bacardi Corporation distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico, where more than 80 percent of the company’s rums are produced, has partnered with Puerto Rico based manufacturer Olein Refinery to provide raw materials that will enable the production of more than 1.7M units of 10-ounce hand sanitizer. At 70 percent alcohol, these products are in line with the recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO) for containing the spread of the virus.

Over half a million of the 10-ounce hand sanitizer units produced in partnership with Bacardi will be donated to local communities.

The company plans to expand distribution next week to non-profit organizations including Fondos Unidos (United Way). Bacardi employees and contractors also received the free product as the health and safety of people is always top of mind for the family-owned company.

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

“This is a family-owned business and we know what it means to take care of a community in need,” says Jose Class, vice president, supply chain and 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 March 17 and will continue as needed. This emergency action will not disrupt the production or supply of BACARDÍ rum – the world’s most awarded 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,” says Jorge González, president of Olein Refinery.

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