The Dutch consortium of AFPRO Filters, Royal Auping, and Royal DSM has begun large-scale production of medical FFP2 facemasks in the Netherlands to protect healthcare workers against the coronavirus.
At the request of Martin van Rijn, Minister for Medical Care and Sport, millions of masks will be produced in the coming months. This large-scale national production will meet approximately 25% of the acute need for medical masks in the Netherlands, in record time.
Following an impromptu meeting between the CEOs of AFPRO, Auping, and DSM on 10 April, the consortium dedicated their efforts and resources to setting up large-scale production in the Netherlands. With this initiative, the consortium will meet the urgent demand for certified facemasks to protect those healthcare workers who regularly come into contact with coronavirus patients. Fully developed production lines are now being set up in Alkmaar and Deventer for the production of one million FFP2 facemasks per week. The first thousands of masks, which are handmade by Auping in accordance with government guidelines, will be delivered to the Landelijk Consortium Hulpmiddelen (LCH), which organizes distribution to healthcare institutions, this week. AFPRO, Auping, and DSM will supply the facemasks to the government at cost-price, providing full and transparent information on the costs incurred.
The large-scale production of these certified facemasks combines the expertise of the three companies involved: AFPRO Filters' knowledge of air filtration systems, Auping's production capacity and experience in the manufacture of fabrics and materials in various layers, and DSM’s specialist materials knowledge, overall coordination, and global network. This unique collaboration will support the Dutch government to rapidly start production of FFP2 masks on Dutch soil. With this public-private partnership, the Dutch government and business community have joined forces to tackle the coronavirus crisis and protect those working on the frontline.
Minister Martin van Rijn (Medical Care): “It's great that production of FFP2 mouth masks has started here in the Netherlands, thanks to this collaboration between DSM, Auping and AFPRO. Together with the airlift from China to the Netherlands and the reuse of existing masks, this will enable the supply of millions of masks per week – great news for all those who are working so hard in healthcare.”
At Tergooi hospital in Hilversum, Martin van Rijn, Minister for Medical Care, receives the first of millions of handmade medical facemasks from Karel Bosschieter, CEO AFPRO, Jan-Joost Bosman, CEO AUPING, and Edith Schippers, President DSM Nederland. They form the specially formed consortium that will be producing one million medical facemasks per week at cost-price.
Minister Eric Wiebes (Economic Affairs and Climate): “The enormous willingness of the business community to contribute to the fight against coronavirus is an important ray of hope at this exceptional time. Thanks to this joint effort from the consortium and the government, the production of high-quality masks can now begin, despite the scarcity of materials and machinery.”