The FairPlay Movement (FairPlay) and Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (Coca-Cola SA) have agreed to bury the hatchet over the importation of cheap sugar to South Africa.
After recent “extensive discussions” on the matter, the two entities released a joint statement indicating that they had agreed to work together to ensure the survival of South Africa’s beleaguered sugar industry. This followed reports of the import of large volumes of sugar at prices that were reportedly often below the South African industry’s cost of production.
Coca-Cola SA spokesperson Ramogase said that while the details of how the entities would work together had not yet been established, a key focus would be supporting South Africa’s small-scale sugarcane growers.
“The intention is to work with the sugar industry and any other interested parties to support sustainability of the industry,” Ramogase said. Melinda Shaw a,spokesperson for FairPlay said, that sugar production was “a strategic industry for future growth and employment.”
“Diversification of the industry into ethanol production has growth opportunities not only for South Africa, but for the Southern African region.”
Trix Trikam, the executive director of the South African Sugar Association(SASA) said that while FairPlay was an independent organisation operating without a mandate from the sugar industry, so far as FairPlay activities’s align with the sugar industry’s objectives, SASA is supportive of efforts to level the playing field for local manufacturers’. – Lloyd Phillips