Chennai: The Indian Beverage Association (IBA) has expressed its disappointment on the stance taken by a Trade Association in Tamil Nadu to not sell products manufactured by its members and two of the largest players in the Food processing Industry, effective March 1, 2017.
Earlier, The President of Tamil Nadu Traders Association A.M. Vikramaraja, who heads one of the largest Traders Union in the state that comprises Small, Medium and Large scale traders across TN, has declared that the members of his Traders Association will not be selling any products of Coca Cola and PepsiCo India.
He alleged that both these beverages giants are drilling huge bore wells across the state and sucking huge volume of underground water that drains the water table in the respective areas, thus depriving farmers with no water for cultivation.
On the other hand, IBA clarified that there is absolutely No Connection between thier member companies and the ongoing events (Jallikattu Ban) in Tamil Nadu and As responsible companies, both Coca-Cola India and PepsiCo India have made a significant contribution to Indian economy and society over the past couple of decades.
The statement from IBA stated that both Coke and PepsiCo India not only provide employment to around 3,50,000 people, they also play a critical role in improving livelihoods of over 5 lakh farmers and about 4 million retailers in the country.
IBA statement also added that its members are not just skilling farmers and retailers in modern techniques of agriculture or commerce, they are also deeply involved in ensuring the welfare and sustenance of local communities. They have restored water bodies, built check dams and played a significant role in disaster relief and rehabilitation in the state.
It also sadi that the proposed call for banning Coke and Pepsi products is not just against the interest of the farmers, traders and retailers of the state, it also undermines the role that the industry can play in economic growth and development.
While the IAB stamen talks big about its member’s contribution towards rehabilitation of the farmers in various areas, the general public are of the view that no such activities are taking place in their vicinity to the best of their knowledge and termed that the presence of such beverage factories in their surrounding is causing huge discomfort in the form of depleting underwater table and also results in Water and Soil pollution due to the release of effluents and industrial wastes from those industries.