Food industry supports by producing disinfectant and medical equipment

Several food and beverage manufacturers such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, Unilever and Hershey are producing hand sanitizers, face masks and other medical equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hershey Co. spent $1 million to a new manufacturing line dedicated to producing face masks. The new line, which will produce up to 45,000 masks per day, will be operational near the end of the month. “Supporting our communities in difficult times is part of our legacy and important value that our current employees share,” said Michele G. Buck, president and chief executive officer at The Hershey Co. At least one of The Coca-Cola Co.’s bottlers is producing hand sanitizer, and two of the company’s suppliers are working with local distilleries to fill bottles with hand sanitizer and deliver them to hospitals. A bottler in New England is diverting plastic sheeting to be remoulded into face shields for health care workers. According to the Food Business News, Unilever PLC has repurposed more than 30 personal care products factories in the United Kingdom to make hand sanitizer. “We have all wanted to get involved so we can do our bit to help those on the frontline. We’re just pleased we’re able to contribute in this way,” said Jason Sutcliffe, beauty and personal care supply chain manager at Unilever.