Coca-Cola teams around the world are finding creative ways to use their manufacturing facilities and supply chains to produce and transport needed medical supplies to the COVID-19 front lines. Bottling and concentrate plants, for example, are working to meet a critical supply gap by quickly shifting production to make hand sanitizer for donation to hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.
The company’s concentrate facility in France, Coca-Cola Midi, led the way after receiving a request from local health authorities to help address an urgent shortage of hand sanitizer.
The team at Coca-Cola Midi (pictured above) quickly mobilized technical teams and equipment to find a way to produce hydroalcoholic gel at its plant in southern France. A volunteer crew produced and bottled an 800-kg batch of gel that meets national and global regulatory requirements, working over a weekend to maintain operational continuity. Midi shipped the gel to the French government, who is distributing it to law enforcement and hospitals in Marseille and across the Var region, and will produce and donate up to 6 tons total.
"Thanks to the perseverance of the people involved in this project, I'm proud that we managed to obtain all the necessary ingredients to produce our first batch of this essential solution,” said Rémi Lafon, the plant’s general manager. “This initiative shows our strong commitment to the local community, and we will continue to support in ways where we can be most useful during this exceptional period.''
Coca-Cola concentrate plants in Brazil, Ireland, Japan, Puerto Rico and Swaziland have taken a page from their Midi colleagues’ playbook and are producing hand sanitizer. Coca-Cola bottlers in countries including Uganda, Ethiopia, Germany, Kenya, South Africa, Turkey, Belgium and the United States also are producing and/or bottling sanitizer in collaboration with local health agencies and other partners. Some are donating PET bottles and caps to companies producing the solution.
The Coca-Cola system and The Coca-Cola Foundation, the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, have pledged more than $100 million to support COVID-19 relief efforts in communities around the world.