Peterborough’s British Sugar makes its own hand sanitiser for staff and health workers

A sugar manufacturer based in Peterborough is harnessing its production processes to create hand sanitisers for its office staff and emergency workers.

By Paul Grinnell
Monday, 20th April 2020, 1:36 pm
British Sugar - loading hand sanitiser for delivery to healthcare workers.
British Sugar - loading hand sanitiser for delivery to healthcare workers.

British Sugar, which employs about 200 people at its head office in London Road, Hampton, is using ethanol created at one of its factories to make thousands of bottles of hand sanitiser, in short supply nationally, to help protect staff from coronavirus infection.

A spokesperson for British Sugar, which is part of Associated British Foods, said: “We have supplied an increased volume of the ethanol we produce at our Wissington factory to a supplier who is using it to produce hand sanitiser.

“As part of this work, we have procured 15,000 200ml bottles for use across ABF’s food production businesses, as well as an onward supply for refills.

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British Sugar on the road.

“We have also shared bottles for free to the NHS and police services local to our British Sugar factories. We have distributed 1,000 bottles to emergency/care services including police, ambulance services and care homes.”

British Sugar supplies more than 50 per cent of the UK’s sugar from its four factories and sales are remaining steady as demand for bagged sugar in supermarkets rises.

The spokesperson said: “The Coronavirus outbreak means people are cooking at home much more, so we’ve seen an increased demand for bagged sugar sold in supermarkets. At the same time, people aren’t eating out so our supply to these markets has fallen. Overall demand has not increased.

“We are proud of teams from all our sites who working hard to keep our supply chain running so that we can continue to supply our customers and play our part in keeping the nation fed.”

British Sugar says it does not have any plans to furlough staff at any of its sites. The spokesperson said: “We have put social distancing measures in place at all our factories to keep our people safe, and are supporting colleagues to work from home wherever possible, including everyone based at our Peterborough office.”