Rotorua’s Damar Industries has launched SaniHero, a brand of hand sanitisers and related sanitising products.

The New Zealand-owned business announced today it has the capacity to produce one million litres of hand sanitiser a month in an effort to reduce the country’s reliance on imported product and to prevent a repeat of the nationwide shortage witnessed at the height of the Covid crisis.

This development also gives government procurement departments the chance of securing a high-quality essential product through a local supplier. Currently most sanitisers are made offshore and imported into New Zealand.

Damar is the country’s largest manufacturer of ethanol-based consumer products and has made the decision to broaden its production in the face of surging customer demand for sanitiser and other cleaning products.

“During the early days of Covid-19 we saw widespread out of stock situations and it was clear that the reliance on imported sanitiser is a risk to individuals, our frontline workers and our wider medical services,” says Scott Thomson, Founding Director of Damar Industries.

“The lack of supply of an essential product is untenable and left many people exposed and pressured into paying vastly inflated prices. We believe Kiwis deserve to have access to products they need to keep them safe and we are absolutely committed to helping them do this.

“The launch of SaniHero not only enables our retail and health sectors to break the dependence on the international supply chain for an essential item but it also supports local business efforts and more jobs for Kiwis,” added Thomson.

SaniHero is an entirely new category for 34-year-old family owned business.

“Our chemists and laboratory have developed a superior sanitiser which has been proven to kill 99.99% of germs and our Rotorua plant can easily produce sanitiser since it falls into our current area of expertise. We are currently developing a hospital grade sanitiser to enable our DHB’s to source local as well,” says Thomson.

“Our state-of-the-art plant and automated production lines enable us to produce up to a million litres of superior sanitiser every month. When we are up to full capacity, lack of supply will be a thing of the past for New Zealand.

“This is a win win. Not only does this manufacturing initiative enable us to continue to employ locals in the community but it also helps with the fight against Covid-19,” concludes Thomson.

Rotorua Mayor Stevie Chadwick says, “It is great to see local businesses using innovation to create new products that will bring jobs into our community when we know that some of our traditional industries are struggling.”

The mayor welcomes this manufacturing innovation from Damar Industries. “The loss of tourists and the cancellation of events will have a severe impact on Rotorua, so the news of a local manufacturer stepping up in this way to grow local business and employment is especially welcome at this time.”

Mitre 10 NZ is the first local retailer to get on board with the Made in New Zealand product. Damar Industries anticipates other retailers will soon follow in a “team New Zealand” initiative.

The SaniHero sanitisers are available in a 500ml pump bottle and a 1L refill pouch and an aerosol surface spray. Additional range extensions are currently in production.

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