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Apr 15, 2020 • By

Liberté Kefir bottles to the rescue

Some of our Liberté Kefir bottles are now serving an added purpose near our Saint-Hyacinthe plant in Québec, Canada, due to the pandemic.

They’re now holding hand sanitizer, a precious commodity that’s been in high demand since the spread of COVID-19.

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Courtesy of La Chaufferie Distillerie.

When Saint-Hyacinthe plant manager, Sylvain Jeanson, heard through social media that a nearby gin distillery, La Chaufferie Distillerie in Granby, Québec, was converting their operations over to making hand sanitizer, he saw a way for General Mills to help.

“When I watched the video posted by the La Chaufferie Distillerie on a social network, they said their first intention was to help the local community in Granby and Saint-Hyacinthe,” says Sylvain. “Demand for the sanitizer was increasing, but they had an issue getting bottles or any receptacle for distribution.”

Sylvain made a call to the head distiller to offer up a much-needed supply of 400 1-liter Liberté Kefir bottles per week till the end of this crisis, to support their production of the disinfectant.

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Sylvain Jeanson, plant manager at our Saint-Hyacinthe plant in Québec, Canada, holds a Liberté Kefir bottle filled with La Chaufferie hand sanitizer. 

“We saw that others could use this product, and it seemed natural to help,” says Sylvain. “It’s a small gesture, but we want to be a force for good in our community.”

Several Saint-Hyacinthe plant employees that live in nearby Granby have helped to drop off the packaging at the distillery on a weekly basis.

The Liberté bottles have been a welcomed solution for Vincent Van Horn and the rest of the La Chaufferie team, who’ve had many challenges to overcome.

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The La Chaufferie team loads up the hand sanitizer for distribution. Courtesy of La Chaufferie Distillerie.

“It took more work than we thought,” says Van Horn, on making the change from gin to disinfectant, and getting the approvals needed. “But if we can make it available to as many people as possible, it’s our way of trying to reduce the impact in our local region.”

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Ambulance crews in Granby, Québec, hold bottles of La Chaufferie’s hand sanitizer, packaged in Liberté Kefir bottles. Courtesy of La Chaufferie Distillerie.

La Chaufferie has given away many bottles of the hand sanitizer to front-line workers, including ambulance crews, firefighters and police officers.

Van Horn expressed gratitude for companies like General Mills who have helped them get the ingredients and supplies needed.

“Without the help of the companies around us, we couldn’t have turned this around so quickly,” says Van Horn. “Having local companies offering supplies has made it possible.”

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