During this challenging time, consumers, health professionals and multiple industries around the world are facing a shortage of hand sanitiser. Neighbouring country, Tonga, is no different, with limited access to healthcare resources and provisions. The team at Heilala Vanilla experienced the hand sanitiser shortage first hand when they went to purchase supplies to send over, which got them thinking.

Pure vanilla extract is produced using ethanol - the same, high proof alcohol that is used to make sanitiser. So, last week the R&D team put their heads together switching some of its vanilla extraction tanks to make a hand sanitiser product in response to these shortages.

The team have no completed trial batches and are sending its first shipment across the Pacific so more Tongans can stay safe. "We are currently making subsequent batches and planning to make the product accessible to all of our customers later this week," the brand said in an Instagram post.

Heilala Vanilla have now also produced a cleaning and sanitising spray which is available via its website.