SUGAR industry leaders in Negros Occidental said they will stop the call to boycott Coca-Cola products if the beverage firm can translate its commitment to buying local sugar.
In a statement Tuesday, May 30, former vice governor Emilio Yulo III, spokesperson of Sugar Alliance of the Philippines, welcomed the move of Coke to have the company registered as an international trader of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS),which is a provision of Sugar Order No. 3 of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).
Yulo said this only shows that the beverage firm is now fully acknowledging the validity of that order coupled with the withdrawal of their case against SRA.
“We believe this is a move in the right direction towards confidence building between them and the industry,” Yulo added.
However, Yulo pointed out that Coke has caused a lot of damage to the sugar industry, particularly the small farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries that have been hit hard by their importation.
“We are still pressing for a definitive action from them,” he said. “This must translate to something solid by buying sugar. For as long as nothing is definite, we continue our fight and our call for the boycott of Coca-Cola products.”
Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines had sought the nullification of the sugar order regulating the importation of HFCS, but they later withdrew the case.
READ: Coke withdraws bid to nullify sugar order on HFCS
The decision of Coke to withdraw the case came five days after the Sugar Anti-Smuggling Organization filed an outright smuggling complaint against the company following its alleged importation of HFCS without clearance from the SRA.
Local governments units and various establishments in the province have joined the campaign to boycott Coke. (MPE)