In a few short months the coronavirus pandemic has caused chaos around the globe and we’ve seen shelves in supermarkets and pharmacies stripped bare across the UK. At the beginning of March, all our hand sanitiser stock was sold within a week. These supplies were supposed to last until Summer, when our next shipment comes in from our overseas supplier. We have been working hard to put more sanitiser back on our shelves to help supply the continued high demand for alcohol based hand gel, and are pleased to report that we have just ordered our first batch of hand sanitiser from a new UK supplier.
There is a global shortage in not only hand sanitiser but also the ingredients, materials and labour that is needed to make it. Much of the hand sanitiser sold in the UK today is shipped in from manufacturers in Asia, and the coronavirus has severely disrupted factories and supply chains. Because coronavirus started in the Far East, stockpiles were bought up by local markets before UK retailers were aware that there would be an increase in demand.
While many individuals have started making their own sanitiser, this is not an option for health professionals or retailers as we have to ensure that these products comply with strict health and safety regulations. That being said, many people are now finding that the raw ingredients are also in short supply, and high volume alcohol solution is no longer freely available. Suppliers simply cannot fulfil rising demand quick enough.
Thankfully, some UK manufacturers have started producing new products and we have just ordered our first batch of ProVive hand sanitiser. The cost of production in the UK is far greater than in Asia, and combined with restrictions on production lines due to many factory workers being in isolation or unable to travel to work due to lock down, we have to pay a premium for this product. It is not just the cost of ingredients that has shot up, but also cost of the bottles, label printing, packaging, and delivery, as everything is in higher demand right now. Being forced into isolation and social distancing means it is impossible for manufacturers and the supply chain to work at maximum capacity, but we’re all doing our best to meet customer demand under these very difficult circumstances.
We hope that our new suppliers will provide us with enough hand sanitiser to tie us over until our next shipment is expected in July. If you can do without hand sanitiser right now, we advise that you wait so that health workers, nurses, care workers, retailers, delivery drivers, and other frontline workers can replenish their supplies, to help keep us all safe. Please do not stock pile.
We understand that some customers are unhappy with the rise in prices, however, please remember that this product has been specially produced in the UK at very short notice. If you are staying at home then there are alternative ways to stay clean and protected, and the government advice is to wash for 20 seconds with soap and water whenever it is available.