J WRAY AND NEPHEW DONATES PURE ALCOHOL TO NHF
J Wray and Nephew has made good on its promise to provide, at no cost to the Government, thousands of litres of high-strength alcohol as part of the fight against the novel coronavirus.
The spirits distillery dispatched a truck bearing the first 25,000 litres of the product to the National Health Fund (NHF) on Friday, with a further 25,000 litres scheduled for delivery at a later date. It also started the distribution of cases of its own brand of hand sanitisers.
The alcohol is 70 per cent proof, which, along with xanthan gum and water, are the ingredients of the sanitisers.
The company announced its intention to make the donation a week ago, indicating that 50,000 litres would be made directly available to the NHF for onward delivery to hospitals and clinics; and 20,000 litres would go toward producing hand sanitisers for the civil service. The company said, too, that it would use 30,000 litres to produce sanitisers for its staff and communities in the Corporate Area, Clarendon, and St Elizabeth that are in proximity to its operation sites.
Speaking with the Observer following the NHF dispatch on Friday, chairman Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence said the impact of the donated products is expected to be immediate given the shortage of commercial brands on the market, and will go a far way in limiting the spread of the virus.
“If we follow the instructions laid out by the Government in terms of the practices that we should engage in...I think we'll be able to mitigate the effects that the virus will have if unleashed on us and [we're left] unprotected in any way,” he said.
The chairman declined discussing the dollar value of the donation and the tax write off to the company, saying instead that the move was invaluable.
“We've really seriously considered it from a humanitarian point of view; that this company, being the oldest company, the first registered company in Jamaica, and a household brand in the minds of Jamaicans, we definitely want to remain in that view, you know,” Lawrence said.
The J Wray & Nephew chairman said further that given the shortage of hand sanitisers on the market, the company has set up a production facility dedicated to its production, “not for commercial purposes, but just to assist the folks with whom we engage; our partners”.
As such, the company said that as of March 24 it will be supplying high-strength alcohol to local producers of sanitisation products.
“This will ensure the local market has supplies quickly for those needing to purchase hand sanitisers,” the distillery said.
Meanwhile, Lawrence said the shortage of hand sanitisers and alcohol has no far not impacted the sale of its signature white overproof rum on the local market.
“I have no indication that there is any positive or negative impact... I just traversed the factory a while ago and we're busy running white overproof rum and I know stocks are available in the market. So, there should be no challenge at all,” said Lawrence.