CHEMICAL workers in North Yorkshire have made more than 250,000 bottles of hand sanitiser to help battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Cod Beck Blenders began producing hand sanitiser in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and has now manufactured more than 100,000 litres.

The Thirsk-based manufacturer had not previously manufactured hand sanitiser, but received derogation from the Health and Safety Executive to produce it during the current crisis.

Established in 1988, Cod Beck Blenders employs 100 staff, and serves blue chip clients in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, agrochemical, horticultural and fine chemical industries. It has a purpose-built eight acre site and last year processed 27,000 tonnes of material for a wide range of uses.

Cod Beck Blenders used the World Health Organisation formulation for the 70 per cent alcohol-based hand rub, and created the correct safety data sheets and ensured compliant labelling was used to meet robust regulation around production.

The company faced the challenge of managing the very tight supply chain to source the materials and packaging.

Packaged in 450ml and 500ml bottles, the hand sanitiser is destined for hospitals, care homes and local government services in Yorkshire, and Cod Beck Blenders has also been supplying its own customers to help them to continue their operations.

“The opportunity to produce the hand sanitiser came about via a connection of one of our existing customers who recommended us,” said Steven Meyer, managing director.

“The business, like many others, had a massive supply problem as its usual routes had stopped. Fortunately, as a third party processor, working with some of the leading names across a wide range of sectors, we had the expertise and technology to help out very quickly.

“As a company, we are committed to being a trusted partner to our customers, acting as an extension to their operations.

"While ensuring that we keep our 100-strong team safe, we are proud that we have proved able to support some of the valuable initiatives our customers have been undertaking – as well as dedicating a significant part of our operation to hand sanitiser production, we have also been manufacturing larger volumes of disinfectant than ever before."