After TN, Kerala traders to join boycott of Coke, Pepsi products

By: | Published: March 9, 2017 4:55 AM

Close on the heels of traders in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Kerala too has decided to boycott Coke and Pepsi products. This is in protest against the rising abuse of groundwater resources by the cola companies, say traders.

Traders in Tamil Nadu had approached KVVES to be in unison with them in boycotting the sale of the cola products. (Reuters)

Close on the heels of traders in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Kerala too has decided to boycott Coke and Pepsi products. This is in protest against the rising abuse of groundwater resources by the cola companies, say traders.

Next Tuesday, the traders in Kerala will make the announcement on boycotting the sale of Cola products, after meeting chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES), the main trade outfit in the state, that has proposed the ban, has a strength of seven lakh traders.

“We are not ready for any kind of conciliatory talks with the cola companies,” T Nasiruddin, president, KVVES ) told media persons, in Kozhikode.

Traders in Tamil Nadu had approached KVVES to be in unison with them in boycotting the sale of the cola products.

However, the traders are keen to support and distribute locally made beverages and tender coconut water. “We will hold discussions with the LDF Government in Kerala on this. We are envisaging support for this initiative from the state government,” the traders said. Kerala government has it’s coconut drink brand ‘Neera’, which at present lacks wide distribution and storage systems.

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Kerala had been the first to stand up against the cola giants, in a public furore in 2002 against the operation of a Coca-Cola bottling plant at Plachimada in Palakkad district. The protest led by the villagers had triggered the closure of the company’s Plachimada unit in March 2004. Pepsi’s bottling plant in Puthuserry in Palakkad also had faced the anger of the local people. In 2017, the water table is feared to be much lower, as Kerala is facing its worst drought in the last 115 years.

Earlier, Tamil Nadu Traders Federation (TNTF) and Consortium of Tamil Nadu Traders Association (CTNTA) , as part of their ban activities, had sought shopkeepers to promote home-grown brands like Kali Mark, Bovonto and Torino, to increase supplies and offer an alternative to the two big global cola brands. Bovonto is now available across the state.

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