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Coca-Cola Raises Total Pledge to 2.5 Billion Yen (US$31 Million) for Relief and Rebuilding Efforts in Japan
Submitted by rubeka on Thu, 03/24/2011 - 16:08
CSRwire:The Coca-Cola Company announced today that it is establishing the Coca-Cola Japan Reconstruction Fund and raised its pledge to a total of 2.5 billion Yen (US$31 million) donations towards relief and rebuilding efforts for the victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami over the next three years. This includes the 600 million Yen (US$7.3 million) in cash and product announced previously.
The commitment was made following a two-day visit to Tokyo by Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. Mr. Kent was accompanied on the trip by Company Directors Herbert A. Allen, a member of the Executive Committee, and James D. Robinson III, the Presiding Director.
"We were very keen to be here in Tokyo to understand clearly what on-the-ground support is needed for Japanese communities and our business," said Mr. Kent. "We have been deeply moved by what we have seen and heard, and impressed by the hard work and tenacity of those involved in the relief efforts. Given our nearly 60-year proud presence in Japan and our strong relationship with its people, we want to do everything we can to contribute to the rebuilding effort as we shift our focus from immediate relief efforts to reconstruction and infrastructure rebuilding in the coming weeks and months.
"Obviously there are detailed assessments yet to be completed, but our vision for the Reconstruction Fund is mainly to help with the rebuilding of schools and other community facilities that support children impacted by this tragedy. This will be done in consultation with the appropriate authorities. We will also open the Fund to enable all of our system employees globally to make contributions and we will match those contributions over and above the 2.5 billion Yen that we have pledged."
During his visit, Mr. Kent met with Coca-Cola employees in Tokyo to express his steadfast support for them and the community at large.
He also met with Mr. Norio Sueyoshi, Chairman of the Coca-Cola Association of Japanese bottlers, and other bottling partners in Japan to gain first-hand insights into the needs for the community rebuilding efforts and to review business continuity plans. Mr. Kent passed on his deep appreciation for the extraordinary efforts and diligence on the part of the Japanese bottlers and their employees. "These people have been at the forefront of the system's efforts to help with immediate relief, and have the much-needed beverages produced and on their way to the most needy regions. I congratulate them on the swift progress they have made," said Mr. Kent.
Mr. Sueyoshi said, "Amidst these unprecedented circumstances, this support of The Coca-Cola Company is truly appreciated. I am particularly concerned about the effect on children who have been impacted. I am pleased that the Reconstruction Fund will assist with education and other facilities which contribute to the next generation."
The Coca-Cola Japan Reconstruction Fund builds upon the previous contribution and relief efforts made by Coca-Cola Japan and its 12 bottling partners. That contribution includes the distribution of more than 7 million bottles of needed beverages, such as water, tea and sports drinks, to national and local government authorities and other community groups. The system has also activated free dispensing of products from selected vending machines.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio features 14 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.7 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com