By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
MANILA, Philippines – Coca Cola, the biggest softdrink company in the country, said that its $1 billion five-year investment commitment in the country is on track with the near completion of its bottling plant in Misamis Oriental.
In a statement, Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines chief executive officer Bill Schultz said the new plant in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental should be operational in a couple of months.
The plant will be one of its largest in the region and is expected to generate significant employment opportunities in the area.
“We remain committed to the Philippines, where we will celebrate 100 years in business in 2012, and uphold our confidence in the Philippine economy and the continued growth of our brands,” Schultz said.
Part of the resources used for the purchase of the 11 hectare property and the construction of the facilities came from the initial investment committed through former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2009. The rest, including the purchase of machineries and equipment, as well as employee training, were taken from the fresh $1B investment committed by Coca-Cola Pacific Group President Glenn Jordan to President Aquino when he attended the UN General Assembly in New York in September last year, the statement said.
The company’s investment in the country was intended to strengthen production, distribution and help develop new products to refresh the Filipino consumers.
In 2010, Coca-Cola Philippines recorded double-digit growth led by its flagship brand Coca-Cola. The Company has also recently expanded a no added preservatives formulation of the Minute Maid Pulpy brand with real pulp and juice.
Coca-Cola Company, which operates 23 plants and 47 sales offices with over 7,000 employees across the country, will focus the rest of the investment on strengthening marketing executions and enhancing system capabilities relating to logistics and deliveries in order to better serve the Company’s expanding customer base, the statement said.
“We also continue to invest in the community. Currently the Coca-Cola Company has built 80 Little Red Schoolhouses in remote areas in the Philippines, benefitting over 40,000 students. Now the Coca-Cola Foundation is working at constructing an additional 20 Little Red Schoolhouses to reach our goal of 100 Little Red Schoolhouses by 2012, the 100th year anniversary of Coca-Cola in the Philippines,” Schultz said.
Coca-Cola also supports several environmental programs in partnership with WWF Philippines. A project between the Departments of Health and Education and Coca-Cola aims at minimizing iron deficiency among schools kids through the distribution of a nutritional juice.
Coca-Cola has been in the Philippines since the beginning of the 20th century and has been locally produced since 1927.
The Philippines received the first non-US national Coca-Cola bottling and distribution franchise. The Philippines bottling operation is among the biggest 10 Coca-Cola bottlers globally.
Thursday, 31 March 2011
By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT