Sunday, May 11, 2008
13. ANALYSIS. Getting a sense of Coca-Cola's philanthropic ideas!
In a country where 70% of irrigation water and 80% of its domestic water supplies come from its rapidly depleting groundwater reserves, groundwater recharge is bound to get unstilted support. What if the recharge is funded by Coca-Cola from out of the profit it nets by extracting groundwater in the first place! That the company's expanding business eyes country's groundwater reserves is pushed aside. Not without reason as everybody is brainwashed by the corporate PR that passes for news these days, which makes everyone think that the Coca-Cola groundwater recharge model is the greatest invention to come down the pike since the wheel was invented.
It needs multiple voices and committed cheerleaders to hold aloft the corporation's water stewardship credentials. That it's bottled waterbrand Dancing was awarded with `Consumer's International 2007 International Bad Product Awards' - filtering drinkable tap water andselling it back to the market, particularly in Europe; that it faces charges for human rights abuses of union members trying to organise Coca-Cola plants in Colombia; and that two-thirds of freshwater used by Coca-Cola is converted into wastewater globally are facts that the company will see erased sooner from the public memory!
Co-opting unsuspecting civil society organisations to support corporation's green makeover comes handy. Coca-Cola's long-term partnership with the World-wide Fund for Nature; it's recent supportof $1 million to the Global Water Challenge, and its ongoing funding for more than 100 community water projects in 49 countries are designed to help the company avoid addressing reasonable questions. In India, where the privatisation of the state is nearly complete and where the idea of capitalism is fast sinking into middle-class psyche, the propaganda that a beverage company is recharging groundwater gets accepted without question....more