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Penbev addresses Coke boycott

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Peninsula Beverages (Penbev), the local bottlers of the popular Coca Cola brand, has come out to deny allegations that it shares political affiliations with the state of Israel. The move comes after many South Africans have resorted to boycotting the popular soft drink company, as a form of protest towards Zionist occupation.

Penbev communications manager, Denise Green, stated that Coca Cola were not in support of any particular religious cause, nor did it share political affiliations with any particular country. She also rejected suggestions the company were actively transferring funds and profits towards Israel, or any other state.

The Coca Cola brand is operational in more than 200 countries across the globe, include Israel and Palestine. In the case of both states, Green noted that bottling operations were being conducted by local companies from the region, who in turn were employing local people.

“Coca Cola does not support any form of conflict in any country, and certainly in the Middle East we operate both in Israel and Palestine,” she said.

Furthermore, she stressed that none of the bottling plants in the region were situated on any disputed lands.

“We can definitely confirm that no Coca Cola production facilities are located on any disputed territory in Israel,” she said.

Several local businesses have taken to the boycott campaign in recent weeks, by completely removing Coke products from their shelves. They include Elite Cash and Carry, Hartley’s Foods, and Bin Rashid’s Pizza. In response, Green noted Penbev had issued memos to all the various stockers of Coca Cola products, which listed the facts surrounding their stance on the issue.

With more companies threatening to follow suit, she said they were even considering bringing out the Palestinian bottler, the National Beverage Company, to address the local community.

“For 15 years, the Coca Cola Company and its Palestinian bottler have been contributing to the economy of Palestine. So boycotts are not going to help anybody,” she said.

She reiterated the stance that the Coca Cola Company and Penbev were opposed to people being harmed in any way, and that they stood for peace.

“We know that the world will always face challenges, but for us it’s about making a commitment to our consumers and employees, and we will always honor that. We want people to be peaceful, but we do understand there are challenges,” she said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

Next story: Pro-Palestinian activist response to Penbev statements

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