Shops across the state of Tamil Nadu have reportedly started taking off clearing stocks of Pepsi and Coke bottles from their shops after traders in the states called for a ban on multinational brands cola brands in a bid to promote local drinks.
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. Together, these businesses employ more than 2000 families in Tamil Nadu directly, and 5000 families indirectly. "When there is demand, the brand owners will beef up their supply chain and retailers will go for them", he said.
The boycott call comes at a time when Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo's global chief, who incidentally hails from Tamil Nadu, is on a week-long tour to India to discuss investment proposals.
Members of these trade bodies finally called for this ban after the huge response from young people against the ban on the local festival, jallikattu.
"The decision was taken to wean away the youth from soft drinks manufactured and marketed by MNCs that have killed the domestic companies". The ban was proposed by two of the largest trade associations and came into effect on Wednesday. "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. "But we will have to liquidate existing stocks", R.K. Angamuthu, owner of Sree Angalaparameswari Stores in Mylapore in south Chennai, told IANS. "They also play a critical role in improving the livelihood of over 200,000 retailers". Some traders told TOI that the association was pressurising them not to stock U.S. brands to "promote local cola brands". The association said it is open to engage with any organisation that has a different point of view. "The companies also sustain the interests of thousands of Tamil farmers, by procuring agri-produce".
"The shopkeepers are being offered three or five crates free for every 10 crates of foreign colas bought".
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