Tamil Nadu Shops Begin The Boycott Of PepsiCo & Coca-Cola, Promote Local Manufacturers
Thousands of shops across Tamil Nadu began the boycott of PepsiCo & Coca-Cola from Wednesday morning in a move to boost the local manufacturers that might cost the soft-drink majors of Rs 1,400 crores in losses. The Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam alias TNTF, the state’s largest trade body that comprises of 6,000 small and medium enterprises and about 1.5 million members, has told the boycott was on in all small shops and all the retail stores from across the state.
The bigger supermarkets and the restaurants of about 5,000 in number, sought more time but the Sangam’s representatives have said they had scheduled a meeting later in the evening. The resolution was first mooted at the youths massive protests that rocked the state last month and which forced the politicians to legalize the Tamil Nadu’s traditional bull-taming sport, Jallikattu. On citing the health and environmental grounds, protestors over there has screamed to ban the international cold drinks companies like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola’s fizzy drinks.
Two major trader’s body namely Tamil Nadu Traders Federation (TNTF) and Consortium of Tamil Nadu Traders Association (CTNTA) would enforce the boycott of both brands across more than 20 lakh shops affiliated with them, and a third are expected to take off the products from the shelves immediately.
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Vikrama Raja, the president of the Sangam, said as quoted “Their initial response is encouraging, but they only want some more time to work out on the boycott plan. I am hopeful that in the evening we would have them also commit a date.” He added that this protest might even spread to other states later, with traders associations in Kerala and Puducherry considering a similar boycott.
“The resolution was taken to wean away the youth from the MNCs soft drinks which have killed the domestic companies. These foreign companies were also using up scarce water resources,” alleged K Mohan, the secretary of the Sangam.
Mohan also added that this should not be allowed in Tamil Nadu at a time when the state was facing the unprecedented drought. Moreover, the Indian soft drink brands were also cheaper and healthier than the foreign brands. There are also fresh juices that even doctors recommend, the trader’s body office bearer told to Hindustan Times, the news site.
The dealer’s body has its record of complaints against the major cola brands, which included arm-twisting ordinary shopkeepers, who were allegedly found it difficult to comply with the diktats.
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Mohan said, on reflecting the sentiments of several shop owners that ” many shopkeepers do not earn enough even to pay the electricity bills and used to keep the drinks chilled. The trade body said that the dynamic response of the youth during the Jallikattu protests had emboldened them to take off the soft-drink majors.” We have now to see how effective the boycott is. It is not a call for the ban, but it is more like an appeal,” Mohan said.
Given that control of PepsiCo & Coca-Cola about 80 per cent of the Rs 1,400 crore soft drinks market in the state, even the partial success of the boycott could help revive the market for local brands. It includes Kalimark (Madurai), Triple Seven Cola (Thanjavur), Torino, J-drink (Pollachi), Sri Mapillai Vinayagar (Dindigul), and Ruby (Madurai)
S. Karthigaikani, the General Manager of the 118-year-old Sri Mappillai Vinayagar Soda Company, said as quoted “We are expecting a 100 percent increase in our sales if the boycott is implemented.”