Covid-19: the Cognac industry unites and mobilises for its regionPress release





  • Collective production and distribution of hand sanitizers for health professionals in Charente and Charente-Maritime.
  • Collection of more than 40,000 masks for local hospitals, doctors and laboratories.


From the very first days of the COVID-19 health crisis, the Cognac industry, in accordance with its corporate values, has been mobilised to help the health workers in its region. In addition to the many voluntary and individual undertakings by the producers and winegrowers, two collective projects have been set up.

1 | Collective production and distribution of hand sanitizers for health professionals in Charente and Charente-Maritime.

Starting on Monday 30 March 2020, the Cognac sector will set up a regional operation aimed to produce, bottle and distribute hand sanitizers. This will be achieved with the support of health professionals, elected representatives and the Qualyse laboratory specialising in health and environmental analyses for local authorities, ministries and the private.

The hand sanitizer, created for city doctors, pharmacies, nursing homes for dependent elderly and personal care in Charente and Charente-Maritime, allows you to disinfect your hands. It requires less glycerol than gel, which is, same as hydrogen peroxide (“hydrogen peroxide”), very difficult to find.

This initiative run by Bureau National Interprofessionnel Du Cognac (BNIC) is controlled and carried out in accordance with strict health regulations. It will make possible to produce 14,000 50 cl bottles (equivalent to 70,000 individual 10 cl bottles) for an initial production of 7,000 litres. A larger quantity of alcohol has already been collected: the production will increase depending on the availability of glycerol and hydrogen peroxide.

The procedure is the following:

  • Supply of neutral alcohol at 96° by the Cognac producers and winegrowers who have it at their disposal;
  • Transformation of alcohol into hand sanitizers* by Qualyse ;
  • Bottling in 50 cl bottles by a Cognac brand who centralises and coordinates the program;
  • Distribution of the bottles will be done in the two regions. The first is for Charente Maritime, under the supervision of Mrs Corinne Imbert, pharmacist, Senator and Departmental Councillor of Charente-Maritime and Catherine Desprez, Vice-President of the Departmental Council of Charente-Maritime, Mayor of the town of Surgères. The second is for Charente, in conjunction with Dr Alain Thiburce, President of the Association of Doctors on call in the Charente (Ameps 16).

*Composition: ethanol 80 %, glycerol 1,45 %, hydrogen peroxide 0,13 %, purified water, free of perfume and colouring agents.

2 | Collection of more than 40,000 masks for local hospitals, EMS, doctors and laboratories

Since the middle of March, the Cognac professionals have supplied more than 40,000 masks to hospitals, the SAMU, doctors and local laboratories.

These regional collective initiatives complement other individual and voluntary actions undertaken by merchants, winegrowers and distilleries at the local and national level (donations of alcohol and equipment).

BNIC Cognac supports the collective effort while remaining consistent with its values and its territory.



About Qualyse:

Created in 2008, the Qualyse laboratory offers sanitary services in food hygiene, animal health, hydrology and the environment for the benefit of communities, ministries, companies and individuals. An EPIC-type establishment, Qualyse has three analysis and production sites in La Rochelle (17), Tulle (19) and Champdeniers (79).