Coca-Cola in the Philippines continues to support the Philippine sugar industry by remaining to be one of its strongest partners.
The bottling facility in Negros Occidental, for instance, produces beverages with 100% locally-sourced sugar. The Company has maintained this practice since they opened their plant in Bacolod in 1998.
“It is the thrust of Coca-Cola to support the local industries wherever we may be present in the world – and that includes the various stakeholders in and outside our value chain,” said Atty. Adel Tamano, vice president for Public Affairs and Communications of Coca-Cola Philippines. “We wish to continue to work with the government, and the stakeholders of the local sugar industry, to reach a solution to the current situation that is acceptable to all concerned.”
A study cited by the Sugar Regulatory Administration and conducted by the University of the Philippines School of Statistics states that the total local beverage industry, which includes Coca-Cola, uses approximately 40% of the total Philippine domestic sugar production. As such, Coca-Cola remains a committed partner of the local sugar industry and one of the main purchasers of local sugar.
“At Coca-Cola FEMSA, we have always been proud to work with our local partners. The Philippines is the first venture of FEMSA in Asia, thus, we are committed to making sure that we are able to serve Filipino communities through our extensive use of local and global resources; and by providing Filipinos with opportunities for productive lives,” said Atty. Juan Lorenzo Tañada, Corporate Affairs and Legal director of Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines.
In a meeting with officials from the Department of Agriculture and the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), Coca-Cola executives said that the beverage company has already increased by 50% their purchase of local sugar this 2017.
Aside from supporting the local sugar industry, Coca-Cola has been able to positively impact Filipino communities through its sustainability programs. In Negros Occidental alone, the Company’s women economic empowerment program, the 5by20 Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program, has impacted over 5,000 women micro-entrepreneurs.
The water access program of Coca-Cola, AGOS, which provides a water system that elevates water without need for electricity, has reached communities in Negros Occidental. AGOS has been able to provide access to fresh water in 25 communities in the province. An average of 27,100 liters of water reach each community daily.
Coca-Cola Philippines and its bottling partner, Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, continue to welcome the opportunity to engage in dialogue and to work with government and with the local sugar industry and all other stakeholders concerned to address the needs of all sectors, particularly the sugar farming communities in Negros Occidental.