After demand for hand sanitizer skyrocketed following the initial breakout of COVID-19, Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL), like nearly every other retailer, began experiencing severe shortages.
From the get-go, the FDA and the WHO have stated that the use of hand sanitizer is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of the virus, but because of the global scarcity, FCL wasn’t able to ensure its many food and pharmacy warehouse distribution centres had a regular supply.
To address the issue, FCL turned to the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre (Food Centre).
The Food Centre, a non-profit organization that typically helps local producers develop, manufacture, and package food products for market, had already been engaged in an active partnership with FCL since October. And after enlisting the help of Saskatoon’s Black Fox Farm and Distillery, the Food Centre was able to quickly reconfigure its equipment and begin producing industrial hand sanitizer.
“The Food Centre is eager to help in any way we can during this pandemic,” said Dan Prefontaine, president of the Food Centre, in a recent announcement. “Our relationship with FCL has provided us with the opportunity to trial and produce hand sanitizers for both Co-op and other local businesses in need.”
So far, the Food Centre and FCL have distributed 2,800 350-millilitre bottles to FCL drivers and facilities, and are currently producing another 3,000 litres to be sent directly to a number of Saskatchewan businesses who need it most.