Surat: In a first, sugar cooperative starts making sanitizer

Source : TOI | Melvyn Thomas | TNN | Apr 5, 2020, 06:42 IST

hanSURAT: A sugar cooperative in Bharuch district has forayed into mass production of sanitizers at its captive distillery, in a bid to fill the shortage in the market and arrest sky rocketing prices of the product. Shree Ganesh Khand Udhyog Sahkari Mandli Limited (Ganesh Sugar Mill), which has around 17,000 farmers as members, has started with production of about 5,000 litres of hand sanitizer daily by using its supply of extra neutral alcohol — a key raw material derived from sugar molasses — at its distillery in Bharuch. While other brands are selling 100 ml bottles between Rs 135 and Rs 150, Ganesh Sugar Mill is selling its 100ml bottles for Rs 35. Bulk of hand sanitiser — sold under the brand name of ‘Ganesh Care’ — is produced at the factory and supplied to local cosmetic companies for bottling. The final product is marketed and sold by the factory in entire Bharuch district.
            The cooperative’s chairman Sandip Mangrola told TOI, “Our aim is to make the humble hand sanitizer available at nominal costs to even the poor people given the current shortage. Our brewing team at the distillery is making the sanitizer liquid as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. The liquid is supplied to the cosmetic companies for bottling work.”
‘Made 1 lakh bottles in four days’
Mangrola further said that production at their mill started four days ago. “We have manufactured about 1 lakh bottles of hand sanitizer till now. At present, we are selling through retailers in Bharuch district only and are looking for government’s support to expand our reach across the state.”
According to Mangrola, the sugar factory has written to the government to permit sale of the sanitizer at fair price shops across the state.
He also said that corporate companies could fund the activity under their corporate social responsibility (CRS) to ensure that sanitizers, a primary hygiene product, are made available free-of-cost to the poor.
“We have enough reserves of ethanol at our distillery and if need be we can produce more ethanol from the molasses. We want the government to help us in selling it across the state at nominal rates,”he added