PRESS: Norway Campuses Reject Coca-Cola
Contract Not Renewed, Ethical Concerns Raised in Decision
For Immediate Release
December 14, 2009
Martin Giset, Attac Blindern, University of Oslo +47 9162 3302
Amit Srivastava, India Resource Center +91 98103 46161
December 14, 2009: In another major victory for the
international campaign against Coca-Cola, colleges and universities
in Norway have decided not to renew the exclusive contract with Coca-Cola.
Students across Norway have been campaigning to significantly restrict
Coca-Cola's contract on campuses because of the company's mismanagement
of water resources in India.
Students had argued that Coca-Cola's existing 90% market share on
campuses made it difficult for students to exercise their right to
buy ethical products on campus.
Samskipnaden i Oslo (Foundation for Student Life in Oslo) made the
decision not to renew Coca-Cola's exclusive contract and also restrict
campus market share for new contracts to 80%, meeting both the student
campaign demands. The primary contract, effective January 1, 2010,
was awarded to Ringnes, and applies to colleges and universities across
"This is a major victory for the student campaign to hold Coca-Cola
accountable in Norway. We are sending a strong message to Coca-Cola
that it must stop its unethical behavior in India. We are also delighted
that the campaign is moving our campuses away from the monopolistic
practices of companies like Coca-Cola," said Martin Giset of Attac
Blindern, the lead campaigning group at the University of Oslo.
Samskipnaden cited both financial reasons as well as ethical in arriving
at their decision.
"We are thrilled. Both because Ringnes had a better offer than Coca-Cola,
and because it is going to make it easier for students to make ethical
choices when buying beverages," said the leader of the Welfare Council
in Oslo, Jenny Nygaard.
The action against Coca-Cola comes after a two-year long campaign
in Norway to hold Coca-Cola accountable. On November 11, 2008, the
University of Oslo Welfare Council (Velferdstinget I Oslo) passed
a resolution to significantly restrict the size of Coca-Cola's
contract, offer alternative beverages that are ethical and fair trade
as well as adopt more stringent criteria for ensuring that companies
that do business with the University of Oslo have strong environmental
and ethical records. University of Bergen, Vestfold University College
and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences at Aas also passed resolutions
against Coca-Cola in Norway.
Communities across India have been campaigning against Coca-Cola,
charging the company with creating water shortages and pollution.
Two Coca-Cola plants have been shut down in India as a result of the
campaign, and a Coca-Cola funded study released in January 2008 has
recommended the closure of another bottling plant in India citing
Coca-Cola's significant role in worsening water shortages.
Just two weeks ago, on November 30, 2009, over
2,000 villagers protested against Coca-Cola in Mehdiganj in India,
accusing the company of worsening water conditions by continuing to
extract water in times of drought.
"We want to thank the students of Norway for sending a loud and clear
message to Coca-Cola that its activities in India are unethical and
that consumers around the world will think before they drink Coca-Cola,"
said Nandlal Master of Lok Samiti in Mehdiganj.
"We welcome colleges and universities in Norway to the growing number
of conscientious institutions around the world who are demanding that
Coca-Cola clean up its act in India. The decision not to do business
as usual with Coca-Cola will go a long way in ensuring justice for
communities in India", said Amit Srivastava of the India Resource
Center, an international campaigning organization.
The India Resource Center worked closely with Attac
in Norway to support the student campaign to hold Coca-Cola accountable
For more information, visit www.IndiaResource.org
FAIR USE NOTICE. This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. India Resource Center is making this article available in our efforts to advance the understanding of corporate accountability, human rights, labor rights, social and environmental justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.