Pernod Ricard said it is “mobilising affiliates globally” to deal with the shortage of hand sanitiser. 

The drinks producer said its subsidiaries around the world are working to contribute to local efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and help their communities. 

In France its business Ricard SAS has partnered with Laboratories Cooper, supplier to all pharmacies in France to donate pure alcohol for the production of hand sanitiser. It said Ricard SAS will donate 70,000 litres of pure alcohol to Laboratories Cooper to produce hydro alcoholic gel. This will amount to the equivalent of around 1.8 million individual 5cl vials.

Other Pernod subsidiaries around the world are making similar moves.

In Sweden the distillery of Absolut Vodka is offering spirits on a large scale to produce hand sanitiser for public health care. 

In the US Pernod Ricard’s Ft Smith, Arkansas manufacturing plant and distilleries for Rabbit Hole (Kentucky), Smooth Ambler (West Virginia) and TX Whiskey (Texas) are now producing hand-sanitiser. 

In Spain and Ireland, Pernod Ricard Spain and Irish Distillers have announced they will put their “technical, human and production facilities” at the service of the authorities to produce hand-sanitiser. 

Other initiatives are being rolled out in other areas including the UK, which will be announced shortly, Pernod said. 

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and chief executive officer of Pernod Ricard, said: “As the world is facing a major pandemic, companies must mobilise, not only to ensure the safety of their employees, but also to contribute to collective efforts in accordance with their capabilities.

“By sharing our resources and making our production facilities available wherever they are needed, we are supporting our fellow citizens and local authorities. I would like to thank our employees who have worked hard to make everything possible in record time, all over the world.”

Sebastien Lucot, managing director of Laboratories Cooper, said: “We are very pleased with this partnership with Ricard SAS. Since January we have been steadily increasing our production capacity. It has already increased five-fold in one month, with the demand of pharmacists and consumers being a top priority for us.”