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Coca-Cola in Gaza

January 14, 2015

Just days after the launch of FOA’s #NotInMyFridge campaign, Coca-Cola delivered materials to Gaza for its first production plant in the besieged territory.

Coca-Cola says the new factory will employ up to 1000 people and bring more than $20 million dollars worth of new investment to the area. However, sources on the ground say only 200 jobs are expected, and doubts remain over how much the project will improve the lives of Palestinians, especially given the company’s dealings with Israel.

FOA would like Coca-Cola to answer questions about how it aims to start the plant up and keep it viable, when tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza remain without basic infrastructure. A production plant would require huge amounts of clean water currently unavailable to Palestinians. Access to water is limited on average to 6-8 hours for 1-4 days a week for the population of Gaza and has been this way for years.

Coca-Cola has yet to explain where the factory’s electricity supply will come from. The only power plant in Gaza is only able to supply 30% of the population intermittently, leaving 1.2million Palestinians in darkness and hospitals continue to run on emergency generators. It is feared that Coca-Cola may be given preferential access to water and electricity, which will disadvantage Palestinian civilians and hospitals in the vicinity even further.

The indications are that Coca-Cola is seriously advantaged by Israel, and this is evidenced by the passage of materials into Gaza to build the factory, while essential building materials for hospitals and homes are barred leaving thousands facing a harsh winter.

Further, despite all of its stated concern for the economic well being of the Palestinians, Coca-Cola continues to profit from the occupation and theft of land in the West Bank, through its ownership in dairy farms in illegal settlements.

FOA’s #NotInMyFridge campaign was launched in response to Coca-Cola’s ongoing support of Israel, specifically the Bridge project which promotes Israeli start up companies globally. Members of the public responded positively to an awareness display near a Coca-Cola event in London, and thousands tweeted the hashtag to get it trending in the UK.

Dozens of activists showed their support for the campaign by posting selfies of themselves in front of their fridges – free of Coca-Cola products.

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