Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Coca Cola abandons Indian bottling plant after protests.

Colossal Victory in India: Coca-Cola Forced to Abandon $25 Million New Bottling Plant
Press Release, India Resource Center, August 25, 2014

March to Coca-Cola plant in Mehdiganj, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Photo by India Resource Center

"The Coca-Cola Company has been forced to abandon a $25 million newly built bottling plant in Mehdiganj, Varanasi, India as the result of a sustained campaign against the company's plans...

"The groundwater conditions in the Mehdiganj area have gone from 'safe' category, when Coca-Cola began operations in June 1999 to 'critical' in 2009...

" 'Coca-Cola is a shameless and unethical company that has consistently placed its pursuit of profits over the well-being of communities that live around its facilities. It is absolutely reprehensible for a globally recognized company like Coca-Cola to seek further groundwater allowances from an area that has become acutely water-stressed, and that too in large part due to Coca-Cola's mining of groundwater alone,' said Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center which has led the campaign to challenge the new plan..."

Past campaigns forced Coca-Cola plants in Plachimada (Palakkad District), Kerala (2004) and Sinhachawar (Ballia District), Utter Pradesh (2008) to shut down.

Protests against Coca-Cola from large demonstrations to small vigils continue throughout India over Coke's practices that have turned "farmlands into wastelands" and "potable water into wastewater." The Company's toxic waste has polluted land and water, while its operations have drained out vast amounts of groundwater.

Also of great concern to health experts in India are Coke's efforts to greatly increase the consumption of their soft drinks in India attempting to reach the per capita consumption in Mexico, which is 745 (8 oz. servings) the world's highest, or that of the United States, which is 401 (8 oz. servings). India's per capita consumption rate is 14 (8 oz. servings). Mexico and the United States are among the countries suffering with the highest obesity and diabetes rates in the world, particularly among children.

In our last newsletter, we pointed out that:

Coca-Cola still faces legislation holding it liable for $47 million in damages as a result of its operations that were forced to shutdown in Plachimada. The company is also the target of a major community campaign in Kala Dera in Rajasthan where the community is seeking closure of the bottling plant due to rapidly depleting ground water. Coca-Cola's plans to build a new factory in Charba in Uttarakhand were defeated almost as soon as the proposal was made public in 2013, "testament to how quickly and efficiently communities can organize and network in India against problematic companies such as Coca-Cola..." Stay on top of the shutdown Coke India movement by visiting www.IndiaResource.org.

For additional information, check out the sections "Coca-Cola's Water Stewardship in India: A Travesty" and "Reducing Global Water Footprint: Coke's Deceptive Public Relations Gimmick" in "Buying Respectability: Coca-Cola and the Co-opting of the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement."

March to Coca-Cola Plant in Sinhachawar, Ballia District, Utter Pradesh, Photo by India Resource Center

Protest Against Coca-Cola Credit: Sarvesh/India Resource Center

For more information about Coca Cola's exploits around the world visit: http://killercoke.org/index.php 

Facts For Working People reprints this information for our readers' interests only and does not endorse nor is affiliated to Ray Rogers' organization, Corporate Campaign.

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