University of Manchester Students' Union Campaigns Officer Responds to Innocent
Congratulations on your new minority investment from Coca-Cola!
Just to let you know, after having somewhat enjoyed your products
in the past, I'm afraid I can no longer see myself buying any of them
due to your company now being compromised by your partnership with
your new investor.
While I'm sure you've been quite clear, open and ethical in the way
you've operated your business up until now, and maybe truly believe
in promoting the healthy properties of your products, you are now
in partnership with a company that is the very antithesis of this
way of operating.
Coca Cola has long been responsible for depriving many communities
in India of access to water for their basic needs, as well as for
farming. Whilst doing this they have been polluting much of the land
with their waste. They have ignored recommendation's in reports commissioned
by THEMSELVES to relocate or shut down their plants in certain areas.
In Colombia they have been continually accused of complicity in the
repression and murder of trades unionists, and in all these countries,
and others such as Turkey, of suppressing the rights of workers by
employing workers at arms length, to avoid any responsibilities towards
them as an employer.
These are just some of the activities of a company that apparently
only wants to bring the world happiness.
On the health side, which is the mainstay of your product and the
promotion of which being the apparent reason the investment was sought,
your choice of investor again beggars belief. Aside from the absurdity
of any claims the Coca Cola company can make that their products are
good for you, they still try. Only 4 days before you broke this deal,
a story of Coca Cola having to withdraw advertising in Australia surfaced
as they were telling people Coke wouldn't make you 'fat' or 'rot your
Of course, I could go on. While I'm sure the investment is very much
welcomed by yourselves, it will be more welcomed by a company looking
to do everything to LOOK ethical and healthy, whilst doing everything
in its power to avoid actually operating in this way.
At the University of Manchester Students' Union we are proud to operate
a boycott of all Coca Cola products for the reasons above. Deals such
as this do nothing to help the situation, and only serve to try and
legitimise the company further on the surface, whilst ignoring all
their detrimental activities.
Whilst we don't currently stock Innocent Smoothies, they are certainly
a product that we may have looked at to sell to our 40,000 or so members.
This option is now something we cannot even consider.
I trust you will find good use for the investment, but in the eyes
of those who know the truth about Coca Cola, it will forever be tainted,
as will your brand,
University of Manchester Students' Union
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