Tamil Nadu traders boycott Pepsi, Coca Cola

Tamil Nadu traders boycott Pepsi, Coca Cola

Tamil Nadu Traders Association's call to shopkeepers to boycott United States soft drink brands Pepsi and Coca Cola and sell only local brands evoked a partial response on Wednesday.

The ban, which was proposed by the state's top two associations of traders, came into effect on Wednesday.

The Sangam has its own list of complaints against the cola majors, which included arm-twisting ordinary shopkeepers, who allegedly found it hard to comply with the diktats. As a result, farmers don't have enough water left to irrigate their lands. Such diktats, if followed by the retailers, could severely affect the two cola majors which have five bottling plants in the state. Both these states and many other regions of India have a serious water crisis, particularly during the summer months.

Chennai: Despite the attractive incentives offered by multi-national cola companies, almost 70 per cent of members of Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu have stopped selling Coca Cola and Pepsi brands, a top leader of the trader's organisation said. TNVSP alone has more than 1.5 million members, all of whom are expected to stop selling these drinks. They want local drinks to be promoted instead such as fruit juices.

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It claimed that all the products manufactured by Pepsi and Coca-Cola are of global standards.

After a petition by the US-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) led to a Supreme Court ban on Jallikkattu, protesters seeking a return of the bull-taming sport had turned their ire on American cola giants such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

"Drinks like Pepsi and Coca-Cola are not good for your health due to their high sugar and chemical content". "People's mindsets have to change first if there is to be any impact of the boycott call", said A Jayaprakash, secretary of Thirumullaivoyal All Traders Association. IBA issued a statement saying, "it was against the proven fundamentals of robust economic growth".

"During the Jallikattu protest, we saw many youngsters talking against foreign products and we figured out that we have public support", said Vellaiyan, the head of Tamil Nadu Traders Federation.