Cooper King support Covid fight

June 2, 2020

Our partner Cooper King Distillery has been making hand sanitiser to support the fight against Covid-19.

It is very different from their primary business of distilling gin and whisky but meets the growing need for the product as we battle the pandemic.

And, as joint founder Chris explains, it meets their aim as a socially aware company at a time when they can focus their efforts elsewhere.

“During the last week of March our sales plummeted, and we lost 85% of revenue overnight. We had a frantic 24 hours putting in place emergency finance plans, making calls to the bank and insurers. We then received several enquiries from the public and front-line workers as to whether we could produce hand sanitiser after seeing a news story of another distillery down south doing something similar.

“We quickly understood there was – and still is – a HUGE national shortage of sanitiser, and that we could step up to help out. For us it made sense to do it, because we’re not just focused on our environmental responsibilities but our social responsibilities too.

“Being a lean, agile company, we researched, developed and produced the first batch with a five-day turnaround and were the first distillery in Yorkshire to announce production of hand sanitiser. This was a big undertaking – we had equipment to re-purpose and materials to source, but we did it and donated our entire first batch the following day to our local community and front-line staff.

“The response on social media was huge and we were inundated with requests for more. We worked through the figures and came up with a strategy whereby we would sell to the public and business and use the profits to maintain a free supply to NHS.

“We have received some really heart-warming – and sometimes heart-wrenching – messages of thanks. Some of the 60 organisations and people we’ve donated to include hospital A&E departments, intensive care units, care homes, schools, royal mail, mental health trusts, autism charities and even Mountain Rescue.

“The impact on them has been considerable – we were even told by one trust that they’d have to turn away vulnerable patients if it wasn’t for the sanitiser we gave to them.

“There are a lot of positive stories out there – of people doing good for their communities. The more we focus on and share these stories, the more we will inspire others to help – and the smoother the ride will be over the coming months.”

Cooper King Distillery is a self-built, crowd-funded whisky and gin distillery near York, producing sustainable spirits underpinned by craftsmanship, honesty, and adventure.

It is England’s only self-built whisky and gin distillery, and one of only a handful in the country to run on 100% green energy. Producing the first gin in Europe with 1% for the Planet® accreditation, 1 square metre of English woodland is planted for every bottle of gin sold. To date, 10,000 square metres of native woodland have been planted with charity partner the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

You can read more about Cooper King Distillery here.