Watch: Angostura to donate 25,000 bottles of sanitising liquid
Photo L-R: Rahim Mohammed, Angostura's Executive Manager, Marketing Services, Chairman Terrence Bharath and Ian Forbes, Executive Manager, Operations, display a sample of the sanitiser liquid which the company is making to be donated to emergency responders.
Update March 20, 2020, 2.19 pm:
Angostura Holdings’ latest product will be a powerful agent in fighting the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The company said it will be re-directing one of its product lines toward the creation of bottles of sanitising liquid, 25,000 of which will be donated to emergency and first responders within the government.
Angostura Chairman Terrence Bharath said the venture is not for profit and is part of the company’s aim to help stop any possible spread of the virus.
“Angostura, in its bid to assist in combatting the spread of the coronavirus, has decided to alter one of its production lines to produce a sanitising agent.”
He said 25,000 bottles will be donated to the Health and National Security Ministries and the cost of the packaging will be covered by the company.
“The initiative is not going to be for profit. These products will be distributed to hospitals…first and foremost, then to the police, the protective services, first responders, ambulances etc.”
He said the initial batch of 25,000 will be used as a gauge and if successful, more can be made.
(Photo: In-house testing is done to ensure the end product is above 70 percent alcohol, which meets WHO guidelines in effectively killing the virus.)
“We intend in no way to affect the commerce as far as hand sanitisers go. It’s not an initiative to enter into the market of hand sanitisers. We want to do our civic duty to assist the population in combatting this virus.”
“We want, as far as possible, to assist the community.”
The sanitiser liquid consists of ethanol or ethyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and glycerine, which is a moisturising agent, and is dispensed with a spray bottle.
The company possesses its own lab to ensure that the end product is over 70 percent alcohol, which meets the guidelines of the World Health Organisation for efficacy in killing the virus.
(Photo: Samples of the product, which will be produced and given to health and national security institutions within the coming weeks.)
Ian Forbes, Executive Manager, Operations, said the product meets World Health Organisation guidelines as an effective hand sanitiser.
“We guarantee its above 70 percent ethanol or ethyl alcohol and based on WHO guidelines that is the strength you need to be effective against the virus. In this regard, it’s an excellent product.”
Bharath said the company is repairing its wastewater treatment plant and as a result, alcohol production was reduced ‘considerably’.
In a strange twist, this allowed them to have the necessary alcohol on hand to create the sanitisers.
“The company had stocked up its alcohol in anticipation that the plant would throttle back production. In the middle of that, this virus came along.”
The alcohol was processed in-house from molasses which the company buys internationally from various sources.
Bharath said this will come at a cost to the company.
“We too have several constraints with the plant not being optimised at this point in time. Therefore we are utilising our precious commodity to make these bottles for the public at no cost to the hospitals and Ministry of National Security.
(Photo: Ian Forbes, Executive Manager, Operations, holds a sample bottle of the sanitising liquid.)
Bharath: No price gouging
Bharath said the company received several requests from people for bulk purchase alcohol for the purpose of making hand sanitisers.
They said however under no circumstances would they promote price gouging or unfair pricing.
“We have been inundated with requests for alcohol to make hand sanitisers. We will try to accommodate every request for alcohol but be warned, we also have limited supplies.
“We want to telegraph to those who want to buy alcohol for retail purposes, Angostura will absolutely no part in price gouging. We do not want people to come and buy alcohol to make hand sanitisers, to…take advantage of unfortunate circumstances. If Angostura gets wind of any company that buys alcohol to profit from it in a time when we are in desperation we will not deal with you, we will not supply one ounce of alcohol.”
The company said the bottler should be ready within the next two to three weeks.
Angostura Holdings Limited has announced plans to use its alcohol to manufacture hand sanitisers and sanitiser liquids in an effort to combat the current shortage in Trinidad and Tobago.
In a statement on Thursday, Angostura said their products will be distributed to public hospitals, members of the protective services and health centres.
This comes as the world battles the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which has claimed more than 8,000 lives and infected more than 200,000 globally.
So far, Trinidad and Tobago has nine confirmed cases of the virus.