Guv welcomes beverage firms’ commitment to buy local sugar

NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. welcomed on Tuesday, June 27, the commitment of beverage companies to buy locally-produced cane sugar.

“That is a good development because they are afraid of the boycott of their products. Pepsi and Coke have already committed to buy our sugar,” he said.

Former vice governor Emilio Yulo III, spokesperson of Sugar Alliance of the Philippines (SAP), said that Samudra Bhattacharya, president of Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc., in a meeting with sugar leaders on Sunday, June 25, in Manila, has signified the commitment of the company to buy more locally-produced cane sugar over high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Yulo said he was not present during the meeting but the information was relayed to him by SAP members.

“As far as the information I got, Pepsi has committed to be a strategic partner of the sugar industry with all the problems hounding the industry like the HFCS and the excise tax,” Yulo said.

After their meeting Sunday, SAP has lifted the boycott on Pepsi-Cola products.

Yulo also said that talks between Coca-Cola and SAP are still going on and that the beverage giant has also committed to buy sugar.

“We welcome the commitment of support from Pepsi and they vowed to become strategic partners of the sugar industry by supporting Philippine sugar. With regards to Coke, talks are ongoing to arrive at a volume that is mutually acceptable to both parties,” Yulo said.

Early this year, industry leaders started their campaign to boycott Coke as they demanded the beverage company to use local sugar instead of the alternative sweetener, which caused sugar prices to go down.
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