In Tamil Nadu Pepsi and Coke are No more Available From Today

Kerala likely to boycott Pepsi and Coca-Cola by next week.

Chennai, FMar 01; The International Brands Pepsi and Coca Cola Products have started going off from thousands of small shops across Tamil Nadu from Wednesday morning in a move to boost local manufacturers and to boycott “foreign” brands.

The Boycott may cost the Worldwide soft-drink majors Rs 1,400 crore in losses.

Tamil Nadu’ss largest traders body – the ”Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam’ that comprises 6,000 small and medium shops and about 1.5 million members – told Hindustan Times the boycott was on in all small shops and retail stores across the state.

There are 20 lakh small and major shops affiliated with 9 trade unions in the state and most of the shops affiliated to these unions have decided not to sell the International brands starting from today.

They alleged that these corporate majors are exploiting the water bodies in Tamil Nadu to manufacture aerated drinks.

“We have stopped selling videshi brands like Coke and Pepsi since Jallikattu protest. We want to promote local brands.”

-V Thyagarajan, Manager of Annai Pazhamudhir Cholai.

Bigger supermarkets and restaurants, about 5,000 in number, sought more time but Vanigar Sangam representatives said they had scheduled a meeting on today evening.

“Their initial response is encouraging. They only want some time to work out the boycott plan. I am hopeful that in the evening we will have them also commit a date,”

-AM Vikrama Raja, President, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam

The PEPSI-COKE boycott decision was first raised in the massive protests that rocked Tamil Nadu last month and forced the rulers to legalise the popular bull-taming sport of ‘Jallikattu’.

“The decision was taken to wean away the youth from Multi-National soft drinks that have killed domestic makers. These International companies are also using up our insufficient water resources,” alleged K Mohan, secretary of the Vanigar Sangam. This should not be allowed in a state like Tamil Nadu at a time when the state was facing unprecedented drought, Mohan added.

The Indian soft drink brands were cheaper and healthier. There are fresh juices that even doctors recommend, the trader’s body office bearer told Hindustan Times.

The Tamil Nadu trader’s body has its own list of complaints against the Cola giants, which included arm-twisting ordinary shopkeepers, who allegedly found it difficult to comply with the diktats.

“Many shopkeepers do not earn enough even to pay for the electricity they used to keep the soft-drinks chilled,” K Mohan said. Several other shop owners expressed the same opinion.

“We have now to see how effective the boycott. It is not a call for ban, it is more like an appeal, the energetic response of the youth during the Jallikattu protests emboldened us to take on the soft-drink majors.” Mohan adedd.

Pepsi and Coca-Cola did not respond yet to the boycott decision of Tamil people.

The Chief operating officer of the Pepsi Indra Nooyi is born in Chennai.

With Agency Inputs.