Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Strathclyde University Department of Geography and Sociology Bans Coca-Cola and Nestle

Glasgow: At its first meeting of the academic year, the Department of Geography and Sociology at Strathclyde University decided to adopt an ethical purchase policy with a presumption in favour of fair trade products. In addition, the Department resolved to boycott products made by two of the world's most controversial corporations: Coca-Cola and Nestle.

The Head of Department, Professor David Miller noted that "Nestle have repeatedly refused to put their house in order in relation to marketing baby milk in the developing world, resulting in the needless deaths of many thousands of babies. Coca-Cola continues to refuse to respond to the issues raised about their involvement in Colombia by the Colombian Food and Drinks Union SINALTRAINAL. In India they continue to ignore the wishes of local communities and operate plants which diminish ground water and poison surrounding areas. This boycott is part of our ethical purchasing policy, but we also hope it will send a signal that corporations cannot simply ignore their responsibilities to local communities."

The departmental decision takes place against the background of the mounting campaign by students in Britain and Ireland to remove Coca-Cola products from Students Unions. It follows a guest lecture to students in the Department last year by Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Centre, an international campaigning organization, and Edgar Paez of the International affairs department of SINALTRAINAL, the Colombian food and drinks union.

"I welcome the departmental decision to boycott Coke and Nestle," said Professor Miller. "I hope that other academic departments will take similar decisions and that this might contribute towards University decisions to remove Coca-Cola from campuses across the UK."

For more information:
Colombia Solidarity Campaign
Killer Coke
India Resource Center
Baby Milk Action


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