Fonterra is lending its shoulder to New Zealand efforts to produce more hand sanitiser, making 250,000 litres of its high grade ethanol available to companies to produce the coronavirus fighting tool.

Chief executive Miles Hurrell said the big dairy company was also increasing ethanol production at one of its milk processing plants with the aim of producing an extra 220,000 litres of the whey byproduct.

Fonterra was working with fuel company Gull on testing a further 250,000 litres of its fuel grade ethanol to ensure it is suitable for Gull to provide to hand sanitiser makers.

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Fonterra was also working with the Government on their priorities for front line services, he said.

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New Zealand's biggest company and the world's fourth biggest dairy company produces 15 million litres of ethanol a year under its brand Lactanol.

It is sold to alcohol and cleaning company producers and to Gull to make fuel.

Fonterra makes ethanol at its Edgecumbe, Reporoa and Tirau processing plants.

The move follows several other initiatives from New Zealand companies to help with keeping the community safe.

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On Sunday Cardrona Distillery announced people could take their clean spray bottles to the cellar door and have them filled up with sanitiser made on the premises.

Last week, Good George Brewery in Hamilton also announced they were getting their first batch of sanitiser ready, which will be distributed for free for locals.