Two of the biggest trade associations in Tamil Nadu have asked their members not to sell products manufactured by Pepsi and Coca-Cola from March 1, 2017. Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam and Tamil Nadu Traders Federation asked their members to put these products off their shelves by the given deadline.
The trade union has alleged that the soft drink company uses the state's waters to manufacture its aerated drinks while farmers and the lay public of the state are facing a shortage of water.
According to them, Pepsi and Coca-Cola are robbing the farmers and the people of the state of their water sources only to use it in their factories.
The Jallikattu agitation further brought ill feelings against such multinational companies manufacturing and selling fizzy products as well as a range of juices, bottled water, chips and oats. It was during the movement that the idea germinated to boycott soft drinks from the two multinationals that are widely consumed in India, particularly by youngsters.
“During the jallikattu protest, we saw many youngsters talking against foreign products, and we figured out that we have public support. Tamil Nadu is not getting water from Cauvery or Mullaperiyar, the only water we have is from Thamirabarani even that water is being taken by these companies,” said Vellaiyan to leading dailies.
The leaders of the traders’ associations however said that this is not a ban that they are calling for but a request to the members not to deal with the two most prominent MNCs.
Though the associations have taken this position, it needs to be seen if they can actually refrain members from selling these products. The two companies manufacture a wide range of products including soft drinks, juices, bottled water, chips and oats.