Coca-Cola Malaysia says the call to boycott its product was made based on false information and rumours circulating on social media and lack of understanding on its presence in the Middle East.
“We’ve heard some individuals calling for a boycott of Coca-Cola on the back of false information and rumours circulating on social media and a lack of understanding of our presence in and commitment to the Middle East,” the beverages company said in a statement today (May 19).
“The Coca-Cola Company operates in more than 200 countries and territories across the globe with different political systems, religions and histories.
“We operate across 14 markets in the Middle East and another six in North Africa. In fact, Coca-Cola and our local bottler NBC, have a long-standing commitment to the Palestinian market, having begun production in 1998 and we are today one of the largest employers in the territories,” it added.
Coca-Cola Malaysia also stressed that while it is a global brand, for Malaysia’s operation all of its bottling operations are local.
“Coca-Cola is made here in Malaysia, for Malaysians, by Malaysians so the very first people to be hurt by boycott calls are our local employees, followed by the
thousands of retailers, distributors and suppliers throughout our supply chain in Malaysia who rely upon us for their livelihoods,” it said.
“Our business is refreshment for everyone. We do not support or oppose religious causes or favor one country over another anywhere in the world,” it said.
Coca-Cola becomes the latest brand adversely impacted from the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel recently.
Prior to this McDonald’s Malaysia had to issue a statement refuting claims that it channels aid to Israel, which it described as “a lie and slander”, that have been circulating on WhatsApp recently.
MD and local operating partner Azmir Jaafar said that as a local company, McDonald’s Malaysia does not contribute, support or engage in any political or religious conflict in any country whatsoever.
Coca-Cola said it remains deeply concerned about the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza and its severe impact on communities in the region.
“Like everyone of good will, we want to see peace in the Middle East and everywhere else,” it said.