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The Virginia Distillers Association, Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association, Virginia Association of Cider Makers, Virginia Wineries Association, and the Virginia Manufacturers Association, with their respective memberships, have launched a cooperative and unified effort to produce and provide hand sanitizer to support the response to the current COVID-19 complex emergency.

While individually many within those industries continue to have a tremendous positive impact, they are donating hand sanitizer free or at very low cost, so are increasingly operating “in the red” during the current pandemic. Working cooperatively, the group will now be able to assist in locating materials and funding as well as share collective knowledge.

Over the past several weeks the groups worked diligently with a Virginia Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Company, the Center for Applied Innovation, LLC located in Yorktown, to rapidly establish a consortium to help produce sanitizers. This volume production of sanitizers will be distributed to regional health and emergency workers by leveraging Virginia distilleries, breweries, beer distributors, cider makers, and wineries in support of this effort.

The consortium will manage the process completely and mitigate supply chain issues as well as ensure that the sanitizer reaches those who need it most. By implementing these steps, the resulting efforts will be seamless, centrally managed, and leverage decentralized operations that meet hand sanitizer needs, while also helping put people in Virginia back to work and keeping industry in these sectors. One key component of this initiative is integrating the approach into Virginia’s supply chain and emergency response system to provide this essential quantity to those who need it the most. The group is currently reaching out to the Governor’s Office and other State Agencies.

Among its first actions, the group is directly addressing one of its greatest challenges in that a number of the normal suppliers for ethanol have raised their prices over 140% in the last week alone, from a market average of $3.75 a gallon to over $20.00 a gallon. This is despite a falling demand due to decreasing gas prices.

The group is asking all Virginia distilleries, breweries, beer distributors, cider makers, and wineries to participate and seeking small businesses and other industry partners to assist with locating and coordinating needed transportation, packing materials and other logistics.

“The level of support that the Virginia Wine Industry has received during this crisis has been overwhelming. We are so glad to have the opportunity to return the support through this program,” said George Hodson, president of the Virginia Wineries Association.

Those desiring to participate in and support the effort can find more information at: www.caihq.com/COVID19.

The public can assist by donating to support providing free hand sanitizer by texting the keyword “Heroes2” to 71777 or contacting the group through the website: https://main.caihq.com/covid-19/vahand/.The public or businesses can donate services such as transportation, volunteers or supplies such as bottles container, etc. through the donation link at: https://main.caihq.com/psd/.

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