Bacardi Helps Produce Hand Sanitizers With Change in Production
Partners With Olein Refinery to Combat Shortage of Product in Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN — A shift in production by Bacardi at the world’s largest premium rum distillery is helping supply ethanol required to produce hand sanitizer, which is in short supply globally as a result of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
The Bacardi Corp. distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico, which sits on 127 acres and where more than 80% of the company’s rums are produced, 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 10-ounce hand sanitizer. At 70% alcohol, these products are in line with the recommendations by the World Health Organization for containing the spread of the virus.
More than half a million of the 10-ounce hand sanitizer units produced will be donated to local communities. Bacardi began distribution of the free hand sanitizers along with disinfectants produced by Olein, to U.S. Postal Service workers, firefighters and police. 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.
“This is a family-owned business and we know what it means to take care of a community in need,” says 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 March 17 “and will continue as needed,” the company said, adding that the “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,” Jorge González, president of Olein Refinery, is quoted as saying in the press release.
“Corporate responsibility has always been a priority for Bacardi. Company founder and BACARDÍ rum creator Don Facundo Bacardí Massó began this tradition in 1862 when he volunteered as the chief organizer of disaster relief in his hometown of Santiago de Cuba after a horrific earthquake. Since then, the Bacardí family and company have continued to build upon his commitment to assist in times of need,” the release reads. “Following the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian on The Bahamas earlier this year, $1 Million USD was donated in cash and other assistance to the disaster relief and recovery efforts. In 2017, in the wake of the destruction wrought by Hurricanes Maria and Irma, as well as the earthquakes in Mexico, Bacardi committed $3 Million USD to relief efforts in Puerto Rico, Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and The Bahamas. In recent years, Bacardi has also made donations to aid organizations supporting relief efforts in Southeast Asia, China, Australia, Italy, Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, Chile, and the United States.”