Statement from Arvind Verma, Secretary General, Indian Beverage Association
The Indian Beverage Association (IBA) is deeply disappointed to learn of the stance taken by a Trade Association in Tamil Nadu to not sell products manufactured by our members and two of the largest players in the Food processing Industry, effective March 1, 2017.
At the outset, we would like to clarify that there is absolutely No Connection between our member companies and the ongoing events in Tamil Nadu. 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. These companies 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.
In addition, IBA 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.
The proposed call 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.
IBA is open to engage with any organisation that has a diverse point of view. In the interim, we urge individuals and organisations not to be misled by rumours and spread of mis-information. We hope that good sense will prevail and normalcy will be restored soon in this matter.