COVID-19 hero: Dyfi Distillery

This spotlight series highlights how many UK SMEs have turned lemons into lemonade, by using the COVID-19 lockdown to pivot their business model and explore new revenue opportunities. Like many businesses, Welsh gin distillers Dyfi faced a challenging road ahead as their two major income streams – on-site visits and restaurant sales – ceased overnight. However, Dyfi have taken a different approach to most SMEs: by looking to how they can support their local community, rather than protecting their bottom line. 

Full of entrepreneurial ‘spirit’, Dyfi responded immediately to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK, opting to collaborate with a number of local organisations to produce free hand-sanitiser for those most in need.

Danny Cameron, co-founder of Dyfi produced the hand sanitiser to the WHO1 formulation to support the local front line services who were desperately short of PPE. They negotiated with HMRC, Trading Standards, HSE, and the Welsh Government before HMRC and HSE issued easements to facilitate distribution:

“We sent out an appeal via Facebook for packaging, and also for local critical services to get in touch if they didn’t have access to hand sanitiser. In the end, we donated stock to 32 local organisations, including hospitals, care homes, doctor’s surgeries, police, cave rescue, search and rescue, and services for vulnerable adults and children. By distributing free of charge it avoided delays, and allowed us to say thank you to all the amazing people who are putting themselves on the front line.”

While this charitable endeavour has been a costly outgoing for the distillers, they are (at least) seeing greater turnover via their online store. To support the admirable work Dyfi are doing (and treat yourself!), why not order a bottle of their award-winning gin through their website

The businesses highlighted in this spotlight series, and businesses like them, make up the lifeblood of the UK economy. It is up to us as consumers to explore how we can support those small companies making a difference.

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