Neil Druce and Steph Cooke hold bottles of hand sanitiser in front of an open car boot. Both are smiling, wearing aprons and standing 1.5 metres apart.

Junee Licorice and Chocolate has answered the NSW Government’s call and begun producing hand sanitiser to help meet demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The family-owned business has repurposed its distillery at Corowa to make hospital grade hand sanitiser that meets World Health Organisation standards.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke joined Junee Licorice and Chocolate at the Riverina Producer’s Market today to help hand out customer orders.

“The demand for hand sanitiser is huge, as we have seen from the large numbers of people here today, and it is fantastic a local business has stepped up to the plate in this uncertain time,” Ms Cooke said.

“I take my hat off to the Druce’s for their innovation and making this change to keep their staff employed. I encourage any businesses around the region who might be able to start producing in-demand goods to give it a go.”

Managing Director of Junee Licorice and Chocolate Neil Druce said making the sanitiser had been a challenge but the demand from the community emphasised how important the product is.

“We had to get the recipe right and we had to get our permissions right. Today we have had a lot of people lined up, with 1.5 metre spacing, and the demand has been massive,” Mr Druce said.

“In the tourism sector and as a business person, when you’ve got really good employees and not much work for them, it’s critical to be able to turn around and do something different. You’ve got to reinvent yourself and this opportunity has been great for us. But I think for anyone, if you can’t do your normal thing look at what you can do.”

Businesses who are able to join the fight against COVID-19 are urged to register their interest at www.nsw.gov.au