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Today, Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard, began the transportation of two tankers of Strathclyde grain spirit as part of an initial donation of 100,000 litres of pure alcohol to manufacturing partners who will use it to produce 120,000 litres of much-needed hand sanitiser gel for frontline NHS staff battling the COVID-19 pandemic across Scotland, England and Wales.

Also today, the company received a consignment of 4,000 litres of hand sanitiser gel ready to be packaged at its bottling plant in Kilmalid, Dumbarton. This delivery will be joined next week by a further 15,000 litres of hand sanitiser gel produced at Pernod Ricard’s Plymouth Gin distillery in England. After packaging, the hand sanitiser will be distributed to frontline healthcare workers across Scotland and to communities in the Dumbarton area.

Chivas Brothers will start packaging hand sanitiser tomorrow, starting with 1,000 litres per day and monitoring needs over the coming weeks.

Chivas Brothers CEO Jean-Christophe Coutures commented:

“Combatting COVID-19 requires a collective effort from everyone. We're fortunate to have ready access to ethanol and state-of-the-art facilities, so we are determined to do all we can to help increase the production of hand sanitiser, which is so essential in preventing the spread of the virus. We are proud to be joining our fellow distillers across the industry and the wider Pernod Ricard group in this battle and will continue to look for ways to assist wherever it is needed.”

Business-wide effort

In addition to hand sanitiser production, Chivas Brothers has announced in recent weeks the introduction of a number of initiatives to support communities both on home soil and in international markets that continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chivas Brothers has reorganised its internal reward scheme so that when employee efforts are recognised, rewards can be donated to the National Emergencies Trust’s Coronavirus appeal, that the company will then double-up. The company is also making regular lump-sum contributions on behalf of all employees to NHS Charities Together, to support NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients during the crisis.

In addition, Chivas Brothers has accelerated its support of its 2020 Charity of the Year, MND Scotland, with a donation of £26,000, meeting its total £50,000 fundraising target nine months ahead of schedule. It has committed to continue fundraising efforts when possible and extend them throughout 2021.

With Blended Scotch Whisky Chivas’ global social enterprise competition curtailed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the $1 million prize fund of the Chivas Venture 2020 was distributed equally amongst the 26 finalists of this year’s competition - so that the funding can be put towards helping solve social, environmental and economic challenges and creating positive impact in a testing time for people across the globe. 

Additionally, Blended Scotch Whisky Ballantine’s pledged its support for music communities worldwide at a time when COVID-19 restrictions are impacting their ability to do what they love and to make a living. The initiative, the first in a number planned for the coming months, sees grants distributed to community-driven music collectives around the world who will be taking part in Boiler Room’s recently announced ‘Streaming from Isolation’ programme.

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