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Thursday, December 10

Companies remove full sugar drinks from schools


The makers of popular soft drinks Coca-Cola and Pepsi will no longer directly supply full sugar carbonated drinks to New Zealand schools as part of a voluntary agreement signed with Government Ministers three years ago.

Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Ltd (CCANZ) and Frucor Beverages Ltd (Frucor) signed the agreement with the Ministers of Health and Education as a self regulatory measure to improve the health and wellbeing of school children.

The companies met with Health Minister Tony Ryall and Education Minister Anne Tolley in October to confirm they would complete the agreement to stop directly selling full sugar carbonated soft drinks and full sugar energy drinks to any schools (primary, intermediate and secondary) by 11 December 2009.

“We’ve worked hard to uphold our part of the agreement and we no longer directly supply any schools with full sugar carbonated or energy drinks,” Coca-Cola Amatil Managing Director George Adams said.

The companies have communicated to schools that full sugar carbonated drinks have been removed from supply schedules. Schools can continue ordering other drinks from Coca-Cola or Frucor, and company branded vehicles will still distribute orders.

Frucor Chief Executive Carl Bergstrom said the two companies would continue to provide schools with a wide range of sugar-free carbonated or low sugar soft drinks, fruit juices and flavoured waters.

“This agreement demonstrates that self-regulation and partnerships work. Governments and policy makers have alternative ways to regulation to achieve positive social and health outcomes.”

The companies noted they only had control over what they supplied direct to schools. Choices over suppliers and products were up to the schools themselves.