Canada focuses on in-country hand sanitizer production
"Canadian companies are answering the call to protect our health care professionals with made-in-Canada solutions,” say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in a recent news release.
“This is exactly the kind of innovative, collaborative thinking we need to respond to this rapidly evolving pandemic,” he says. “By increasing our support for secure, Canadian sources of needed materials and equipment, we will be able to help our health care workers protect themselves, treat patients, and slow the spread of this virus.”
Canada’s federal government is funding the fight against Coronavirus
At the end of March, the Government of Canada announced an additional $2bn to fund diagnostic testing as well as buy ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE). And “Personal protective equipment,” according to the news release, “includes things like more masks and face shields, gowns, and hand sanitizer.”
Canada is buying hand sanitizer from companies such as the Fluid Energy Group Ltd. and Irving Oil. Fluid Energy Group is an industrial supplier that normally “develops and manufactures environmentally responsible, low-hazard, ultra-low corrosion and technically advanced acid and corrosion inhibitor systems,” according to the About statement on the company’s LinkedIn page. While Irving Oil is processes and exports gasoline, oil, and natural gas as a matter of course.
“In addition, the government is working to increase hand sanitizer supply by matchmaking companies, and by identifying and guiding new producers through the licencing and procurement process,” explains the release. Which means that in just the past few weeks Health Canada has authorized over 400 new hand sanitizer products.
Also as part of the new government funding initiative, “the Government of Canada is also supporting the Hand Sanitizer Manufacturing Exchange,” according to the release.
Industry professional organizations collaborate to ensure hand sanitizer remains safe and effective
On March 27, Cosmetics and Consumer Specialty Products, Cosmetics Alliance Canada, and Spirits Canada teamed up to launch the Hand-Sanitizer Manufacturing Exchange to help new manufacturers connect with the suppliers and resources they need to produce safe and effective hand sanitizer.
The Exchange also endeavors to ensure that all regulatory protocols are met even as new facilities pivot quickly to bring in new ingredients and turn over their operations to produce a product (for donation or sale) that they don’t manufacture under usual circumstances.
As Shannon Coombs, President of CCSPA commented when the Exchange launched, “People are coming together to do what they can in this crisis; but Canadians need access to safe products.”
“Our first priority,” emphasizes Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, “is getting equipment and supplies into the hands of our frontline healthcare workers. This crucial task is made more challenging by the highly competitive global environment in which we are operating. Canadian industry is stepping up in a big way to support these efforts and Canadians can be assured that we are working around the clock to ensure Canada has what it needs—made at home and abroad—as we fight COVID-19.”
Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders. Learn more about how the beauty industry is coming together during the COVID-19 crisis here.