Helping with NZ’s sanitiser shortage


One of the ways Fonterra is helping to keep people safe during COVID-19 is by making more of our high-grade ethanol available to companies who use it in the production of sanitiser products, including hand sanitiser.

This comes as the need for sanitiser grows exponentially throughout the country. 

Fonterra is now manufacturing an additional 220,000 litres, on top of the 375,000 litres we’ve already made available to sanitiser manufacturers in recent weeks and are now looking at all viable options to increase ethanol production to help with supply of sanitiser in the weeks and months ahead.

On top of that, Fonterra has been working with their customers who use ethanol but don’t make sanitiser, to see if stock can be redirected to create more supply. 

Working closely with their long-time customer, fuel company Gull, Fonterra has been independently testing Gull’s ethanol stock originally destined for fuel to determine where its suitable for use in sanitiser. With the support of Gull, 250,00 litres has been independently tested, and is now approved to sanitiser producers via Fonterra’s distribution network. 

To date, an additional 403,000 litres of ethanol stock has been redirected towards sanitiser production all thanks to the support of Fonterra’s customers. 

That, combined with Fonterra’s additional manufactured supply, means in total 1 million litres of ethanol has been redirected for sanitiser, which is the equivalent of 5.7 million x 250ml bottles of hand sanitiser.

Ongoing work to achieve this has been made possible by the efforts of teams from across Fonterra and with the help of Fonterra’s national distributor Axieo. 

Head of Fonterra’s ethanol business, Lactanol, Peter Motion, says it’s the socially responsible thing to do and really needed right now by our communities, especially those people and businesses on the front line of the country’s COVID-19 response efforts.

We will continue to work with our distributor and transport providers to improve supply chain efficiencies and increase the weekly volume available of ethanol available to producers from less than 85,000 litres a week to more than 250,000 litres a week.

Peter Motion, Head of Lactanol, Fonterra

“Fonterra is also continuing to work with the Government to identify and prioritise industries that need sanitising products as they will be a necessity for all essential services,” says Peter.

“But it’s not only about looking after our communities, we’re looking after our employees too.”

“We are working hard to keep up with the hand sanitiser needs at our sites, and we have just completed the final stage of the process to make our own quality sanitiser product to ensure our people have what they need while at work. Production started this weekend,” says Peter.