Coca-Cola’s Business Practices: Facing the Heat in a Few Countries To:
Francisco Santo, Vice President Colombia
Atul Singh, President & CEO India
Joseph Cain, Nicholas Dabbraccio, Margaret Metz, Johnny Rueda, and Keshma Thomas
October 8, 2011
Identification of Symptoms:
Continuously denying accusations of fault
Ignoring problems by switching business strategy/operations •
Continuing to pay heavy fines/penalties without a fight
Believing that philanthropy and job creation is the only requirement for consumer acceptance •
Having disputes relating to labor relations only being solved in the place of origin •
Management not investigating the relationship between plant managers of local bottlers and paramilitary groups •
Inability to meet deadline that required agreeing on a protocol of findings of the commission formed by a set of Universities in the US
Accusations of hiring death squads in Colombia to intimidate or kill union leaders •
Accused of contaminating water in selling products with pesticide residue in India •
Anticompetitive business practices in Mexico; non-conformance with competition laws •
Not meeting the terms of applicable laws in various countries •
Not making sure that the bottling and canning companies that they partner with are conforming to these laws as well
I think the above symptoms are more like errors that Coke has made. I think this section is meant to be more of what has happened as a result of those errors. I could be wrong, but this is my recommendation. Let me know what you all think. - Margaret
Coca-Cola is gaining poor publicity after several accusations surrounding its foreign plants were made •
Accused of distributing improperly treated, toxic sludge disguised as fertilizer to farmers in India •
Accused of selling products in India containing harmful pesticide residues •
Accused of draining the underground water table in India •
Accused of involvement in violence against Colombian union members •
Accused of using anti-competitive measures in Mexico in response to competition from another cola company.
Coca-Cola products are being boycotted
Colombian union appealed internationally for the boycott of Coca-Cola products •
Trade unions in Colombia, the World Social Forum, student activists, universities, teach unions, and other social organizations around the world are supporting the boycott.
Foreign Coca-Cola business units are conducting business in ways that leave the company vulnerable. •
Coca-Cola’s involvement in violent acts against union leaders in Colombia could not be ruled out by an investigative conducted by the New York City Fact-Finding Delegation •
The Federal Competition Commission in Mexico charged Coca-Cola with violation of anti-monopoly laws and imposed heavy fines •
BBC radio study found high levels of carcinogenic metals in sludge given by Coca-Cola to farmers •
Center for Science and Environment report found pesticide levels higher than allowed by the European Economic Commission in Coca-Cola products sold in India.
Problem 1: Issues need to be addressed at a higher management level regardless of the implications.
Problem 2: Strategies in managing social issues needs to become more proactive rather than reactive when dealing with a global company/brand.
I think what the above problem statements are getting at is that Coke needs more oversight of the foreign locations, and I totally agree. I just rephrased it so it sounds more like a problem and less like a recommendation of what they should do to fix it. And I added a few more problems. We don’t have to use all of this, or any of these. What do you guys think? - Margaret
Problem 1: Coca-Cola does not maintain enough oversight of its foreign operations.
Problem 2: Coca-Cola’s policies and guidance (TCCQS and the Code of Business Conduct) are no longer effective in managing its...
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