Following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, there is a major nationwide shortage of hand sanitizer in Sweden. Lantmännen Reppe in Lidköping distils Swedish vodka, that is usually sold as alcoholic spirits, primarily in the USA and Sweden. In the emergency situation currently prevailing, Reppe is reconfiguring its distribution flow to make input goods for hand sanitizer manufacturers.
Lantmännen will supply 700,000 litres in total, that will be used to produce hand sanitizer and disinfectants.
“There is a huge need for hand sanitizer in the current situation and we are very pleased to be able to help at such a critical time,” says Magnus Kagevik, Senior Vice President and Head of Lantmännen Energy Sector.
Magnus Kagevik outside Lantmännen´s factory in Lidköping
Permission to supply input goods for hand sanitizer production was subject to Swedish Chemicals Agency approval. Lantmännen contacted the Agency as soon as the coronavirus crisis began to escalate to seek urgent approval. Dispensation for Swedish companies to supply input goods for hand sanitizer production was granted on March 20th.
“This dispensation now means we can start delivering. We are really thankful to the Chemicals Agency for being able to process this matter so quickly,” says Mr. Kagevik.
The Lantmännen biorefinery in Lidköping, that uses wheat from Swedish farms, will now supply input goods to several different hand sanitizer manufacturers. The alcohol is denatured to render it undrinkable and then mixed with other softening agents, bottled and packed for distribution to healthcare and care providers and pharmacies.
Lantmännen Reppe despatched the first consignment to hand sanitizer manufacturers yesterday.
The shift at Lantmännen Reppe in Lidköping has attracted plenty of publicity and interest and on Monday the Minister for Rural Affairs, Jennie Nilsson, and Lena Hallengren, Minister for Health and Social Affairs, were given a virtual tour of Lantmännen Reppe.
The government showed interest through virtual factory visit
“When we need things the most, the whole of society shows its best side. The initiative we have seen from Lantmännen shows how much we can do for each other when times are tough. Wheat from Swedish fields will now be transformed into hand sanitizer for Swedish hospitals – this is evidence of solidarity from Sweden and from the green industry,” says Jennie Nilsson, Minister for Rural Affairs.
“Sweden finds itself in a serious situation and the whole society now needs to work together to overcome the coronavirus. That Lantmännen is now also switching its production to support these efforts is yet another example of how our society becomes stronger when we all work together,” says Lena Hallengren, Minister for Health and Social Affairs.
Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Lena Hallengren, and Jennie Nilsson, Minister for Rural Affairs.