A Pisan businessman, owner of a company which produces health and beauty products, realized his business was plummeting with the Coronavirus crisis and improvised to create a new, vital product. Matteo Bacci’s firm, Speziale Laurentiani, supplied cruise ships with cosmetics and when all orders were cancelled for February onwards, he began to search for a new solution. Faced with letting his four employees go and an entire warehouse full of stockpiled ingredients, Bacci began experimenting with manufacturing hand sanitizing gel with alcohol and rosemary from nearby farms.
He developed a gel from 65% alcohol and distilled rosemary, a botanical known for its disinfectant properties. Business is now booming with large orders coming in daily, including from the military, and Bacci considers adding a night shift production line to keep up with demand. As his employees are all women with children, he’s happy they can continue to work making a useful product.
“Alcohol is a problem,” says Bacci. “I would like to appeal to Italian distilleries to produce denatured alcohol for pharmaceutical use.” Alcohol for consumption costs ten times more due to excise taxes and he hopes to keep prices down to €5 a bottle or less. The company also packages the gel in bag-in-box containers with a spigot for pharmacies, suggesting customers refill their smaller glass bottles, thus being more environmentally friendly.
The businessman, who comes from a family of farmers and pharmacists, has combined two family legacies and is now is considering giving some of the proceeds from the recent success to charity. (rita kungel)
April 5-6 COVID-19 Statistics in Tuscany
The number of new Coronavirus patients has decreased in Tuscany over the last two days: 154 on April 6 and 175 on April 5, keeping in mind that fewer tests were carried out on both days. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Tuscany has now reached 6.001, with 25 deaths registered on April 6, and 18 on April 5. On April 6, there was a 5% jump in the number of hospital admissions, and a 3% increase in the number of patients in intensive care. Over 15.000 people are in self-isolation throughout the region.
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