: Worlds Leading Management Portal. MBA | Classroom, Boardroom and Beyond

Go Back Forums - Your MBA Online Degree Program and Management Students Forum for MBA,BMS, MMS, BMM, BBA, students & aspirants. > Projects HUB for Management Students ( MBA Projects and dissertations / BMS Projects / BBA Projects > PUBLISH / UPLOAD PROJECT OR DOWNLOAD REFERENCE PROJECT > Marketing Management

Ethical Problem at COCA-COLA

Ethical Problem at COCA-COLA

Discuss Ethical Problem at COCA-COLA within the Marketing Management forums, part of the PUBLISH / UPLOAD PROJECT OR DOWNLOAD REFERENCE PROJECT category; Introduction From January 1, 2006, the University of Michigan in the US put on hold the sale of the products ...



LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Ethical Problem at COCA-COLA
 (1 (permalink))
Kalpana Heliya
Kalpana Heliya is just really niceKalpana Heliya is just really niceKalpana Heliya is just really niceKalpana Heliya is just really nice
Kalpana Heliya
Awards Showcase
Status: Offline
Posts: 910
Join Date: Nov 2008
Ethical Problem at COCA-COLA - August 19th, 2009


From January 1, 2006, the University of Michigan in the US put on hold the sale of the products of The Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola) in all its campuses, thus becoming the tenth US University to do so. The ban was the outcome of a relentless campaign by student activists and trade union groups, who accused Coca-Cola of violent labor practices in Colombia and of creating environmental problems in India.

The University of Michigan issued the orders for the ban based on the recommendation of its University Dispute Board. This was following the inability of Coca-Cola to meet the deadline of December 31, 2005 that required agreeing on a protocol on the findings of the commission formed by a set of universities in the US.

The commission had offered to investigate the company's labor practices and that of its bottlers in Colombia.

Coca-Cola did not want the findings of the commission to have any legal consequences but the attorneys in an earlier lawsuit against Coca-Cola and its bottlers in Colombia insisted that the findings should be legally admissible in court of law in the US.
Other prominent US universities that had banned Coca-Cola on similar grounds were the New York University, the largest private university in the US, Rutgers University in New Jersey, and the Santa Clara University in California. The University of Michigan and The New York University were Coca-Cola's largest campus markets in the US.

Coca-Cola's annual contracts with the University of Michigan, which had over 50,000 students, were worth around US$ 1.4 million in sales in 2005. The campaign by student activists and trade union groups to ban Coca-Cola had been going on for several years in different countries. Coca-Cola was accused, along with its bottling partners, of hiring paramilitary death squads in Colombia to kidnap, intimidate, or kill its union leaders and other workers at its bottling plants. Since 1989, around eight union leaders of Coca-Cola's plants in Colombia had been murdered and many others abducted and tortured. In India, Coca-Cola had to face opposition from the local people around its factory in Plachimada, Kerala,4 who charged that the company was responsible for the draining of the underground water table.

In 2003, a BBC5 report revealed that Coca-Cola was distributing improperly treated sludge containing toxic carcinogens and heavy metals like cadmium and lead, as fertilizer to farmers in the region. Coca-Cola shut down this plant in March 2004 owing to mounting pressure. The company then decided to shift its operations to a nearby industrial zone, the Kanjikode Industrial Area.

There were also protests at Coca-Cola's Mehdiganj plant in North India over similar issues. In addition to these accusations, in 2003, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE),6 made public the findings of its study wherein it reported that the products of both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Inc. (Pepsi) that were sold in India, had a cocktail of harmful pesticide residues in them.

In an official statement, Coca-Cola denied that it had used death squads in Colombia. The company said that two judicial investigations in the country had not found any evidence in support of such allegations. Coca-Cola also claimed that there was no evidence linking it or its bottlers with the groundwater problems at its factory locations in India.

Background Note

The Coca-Cola drink, popularly referred to as 'Coke', is a kind of cola, a sweet carbonated7 drink containing caramel8 and other flavoring agents. It was invented by Dr. John Smith Pemberton (Pemberton) on May 8, 1886, at Atlanta, Georgia in USA.

The beverage was named Coca-Cola because at that time it contained extracts of Coca leaves and Kola nuts.9 Frank M. Robinson (Robinson), Pemberton's book-keeper and partner, who came up with the name for the drink, suggested that it be spelt Coca-Cola rather than Coca-Kola because he thought the two C's would look better while advertising. Robinson designed the now world famous Coca-Cola trademark as well. Pemberton later sold the business to a group of businessmen, one of whom was Griggs Candler (Candler). By 1888, several forms of Coca-Cola were in the market competing against each other. Candler acquired these businesses from the other businessmen and established The Coca-Cola Company in 1892. He aggressively marketed the product through advertising, distribution of coupons and souvenirs, and promoted the brand name Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola's Business PracticesCoca-Cola had always believed that it conducted its business with responsibility and ethics. The company's business practices were aimed at creating value at the marketplace, providing excellent working conditions, protecting the environment, and strengthening the communities in the places of operation.

Commitment to quality and a code of business conduct were evolved to ensure good business practices. According to Coca-Cola, its commitment to quality was reflected in every facet of its business. These included commitment to product quality, quality in business processes, and in its relationships with suppliers and retailers.

The quality system was reviewed constantly so that the performance bar for these standards was always kept high. The quality guidelines were communicated to all business units and their implementation reviewed. The company introduced the Coca-Cola Quality System (TCCQS) to achieve these quality objectives (Refer to Exhibit V for details on TCCQS).

Labor Practices in Colombia

Colombia is widely considered as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for trade union activists and union leaders. The country was in the midst of a four-decade-old civil war involving leftist guerrillas, right-wing paramilitary groups, and government forces.

The civil war claimed approximately three thousand lives a year including those of many trade union leaders and workers. It was reported that in 2000, three out of every five trade unionists killed in the world were from Colombia. In 2001, SINALTRAINAL, a Colombian labor union, charged that Coca-Cola and its bottlers Panamerican Beverages (Panamaco), Bebidas y Alimentos De Uraba, and Coca-Cola Femsa, were linked to the violence against its union members in Colombia. Around eight union leaders of Coca-Cola's plants in Colombia had been murdered since 1989, and many others had been abducted and tortured. Coca-Cola was accused of hiring paramilitary death squads to kidnap, torture, or kill union leaders and intimidate worker union activists at its bottling plants.
Trade Practices in MexicoMexico was a very important market for Coca-Cola as the country was second, after the US, in terms of per capita consumption of soft drinks in the world. The Mexican market for soft drinks was estimated at US$ 6.6 billion for the year 2004. Over the years, some of the highest profit margins for Coca-Cola in its overseas operations came from Mexico. Coca-Cola was the number one seller of soft drinks in Mexico with a 70% market share. Coca-Cola's largest bottler in Mexico was Coca-Cola Femsa (CCF) in which Coca-Cola had a 40% stake...

Environment & Product Issues in India:

In India, Coca-Cola was accused of draining the underground water table, of releasing improperly treated industrial effluents, and of selling products containing pesticide residues above standard limits. The focal point of the environmental accusations in India was the Coca-Cola plant located in Kerala. Coca-Cola, through its subsidiary in India, The Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd., had established a bottling plant at Plachimada locality in Palakkad district in Kerala.

The unit was established in 1998-99 in a 40-acre plot that had previously been used for irrigation of paddy and other food crops. The factory site was located in the proximity of a main irrigation canal that drew water from a nearby barrage and reservoir.

Boycott of Coca-Cola Products:

In July 2001, SINALTRAINAL, with the help of United Steelworkers of America (USWA) and the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF), filed a lawsuit against Coca-Cola and its Colombian bottlers at a court in Miami, Florida, under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) of the American Judicial System. It accused them of being responsible for a campaign of murder and intimidation against its unionized workers and charged that it was using right wing paramilitary groups for the purpose. The US judge dismissed these charges against Coca-Cola in Colombia but approved the charges against the local bottlers in Colombia.

Coca-Cola's ResponseCoca-Cola opened an exclusive website, Facts About The Coca-Cola Company - Coke Facts, to address these allegations, especially those related to Colombia and India. In an official statement featured on the website, Coca-Cola claimed that the allegations against the business practices in Colombia were false.

Two different judicial enquiries in Colombia, one by a Colombian court and the other by the Colombia Attorney General, had found no evidence against Coca-Cola or its bottlers linking them to the murders of the union members.

Coca-Cola also quoted a judgment in the lawsuit at Miami, Florida, wherein the judge had dismissed the charges against Coca-Cola, Columbia.
Friends: (2)
Reply With Quote
Your Friendly Helper
Rep Power: 10MBA Helper
Automatic Reply for links related to your post


I am your friendly Helper. Check the related links below which might be of your interest.

Not a Member Yet ?? Sign Up Now. Click Here

Looking for something? Search the Forums

Need Help on your Research Report ? Ask for Help or Help Others and create your network. Give back to the community by sharing your knowledge in terms of notes, research reports, discussions, articles etc..

Help Yourself and Help Others

Ask us, we are here to help

Related to Ethical Problem at COCA-COLA

Similar Threads

Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
“RED, A YARDSTICK IN THE HAND OF THE COCA COLA” HINDUSTAN COCA COLA BEVERAGES PVT.LTD Prashant Ravindran Marketing Management 1 March 12th, 2011 03:26 PM
Coca-Cola vengabeats Company Profiles & News !! 1 January 29th, 2011 11:42 AM
help me in PR project On Coca Cola Yogesh Gadekar Public Relations Management ( PR ). 13 October 19th, 2009 06:55 AM
Uses of Coca-Cola mayankfoodie Articles !! 8 January 4th, 2007 03:31 PM
Salesman Of Coca Cola !!! Prakash Pohwani Articles !! 1 December 13th, 2006 06:56 PM


cocacola, ethical, problem

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

» Login
Forgot Password?  New User?

» Recent Threads

IMTP notes
Last post by Himanshu Jain
15 Minutes Ago 03:31 PM
6 Replies
No Retirement Plans - MS...
Last post by Vinod Gupta
1 Hour Ago 02:38 PM
0 Replies
Karl Stefanovic...
Last post by Vinod Gupta
1 Hour Ago 02:36 PM
0 Replies
Aussie to Meet Kiwis in...
Last post by Vinod Gupta
1 Hour Ago 02:22 PM
0 Replies
MS Dhoni Defends...
Last post by Vinod Gupta
1 Hour Ago 02:16 PM
0 Replies
Turning Point in...
Last post by Vinod Gupta
1 Hour Ago 02:06 PM
0 Replies
Happy Rose Day 2015...
Last post by Babblu0 Babblu0
2 Hours Ago 12:50 PM
1 Replies
Deliberately Crashed by...
Last post by Vinod Gupta
3 Hours Ago 12:16 PM
0 Replies
Foto Zayn Malik -...
Last post by Vinod Gupta
3 Hours Ago 12:14 PM
0 Replies
David Cameron and Ed...
Last post by Vinod Gupta
3 Hours Ago 12:11 PM
0 Replies
England King Richard III...
Last post by Vinod Gupta
3 Hours Ago 12:09 PM
0 Replies
Germanwings Co-Pilot...
Last post by Vinod Gupta
3 Hours Ago 12:06 PM
0 Replies
Motivational Speaker
Last post by Slyasa Fox
4 Hours Ago 11:38 AM
0 Replies
Top 100 Indian B-schools...
Last post by Joel Francis
5 Hours Ago 10:47 AM
2 Replies
Jack Welch Management...
Last post by Maya Raichura
20 Hours Ago 07:20 PM
0 Replies

» Ads

» Projects Helpline

Maharashtra Value Added...
Last post by Joel Francis
2 Days Ago 10:46 AM
Urgent help with Case...
Last post by Joel Francis
2 Days Ago 05:44 PM


No Threads to Display. is not responsible for the views and opinion of the posters. The posters and only posters shall be liable for any copyright infringement.

Management Paradise
About Us
Contact Us
Kartik Raichura
Terms & Conditions
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2004 - 2013 Management Paradise. Site Developed by