The makers of popular soft drinks Coca-Cola and Pepsi will no longer directly supply full sugar carbonated drinks to New Zealand schools as part of a voluntary agreement signed with Government Ministers three years ago.
Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Ltd (CCANZ) and Frucor Beverages Ltd (Frucor) signed the agreement with the Ministers of Health and Education as a self regulatory measure to improve the health and wellbeing of school children.
The companies met with Health Minister Tony Ryall and Education Minister Anne Tolley in October to confirm they would complete the agreement to stop directly selling full sugar carbonated soft drinks and full sugar energy drinks to any schools (primary, intermediate and secondary) by 11 December 2009.
“We’ve worked hard to uphold our part of the agreement and we no longer directly supply any schools with full sugar carbonated or energy drinks,” Coca-Cola Amatil Managing Director George Adams said.
The companies have communicated to schools that full sugar carbonated drinks have been removed from supply schedules. Schools can continue ordering other drinks from Coca-Cola or Frucor, and company branded vehicles will still distribute orders.
Frucor Chief Executive Carl Bergstrom said the two companies would continue to provide schools with a wide range of sugar-free carbonated or low sugar soft drinks, fruit juices and flavoured waters.
“This agreement demonstrates that self-regulation and partnerships work. Governments and policy makers have alternative ways to regulation to achieve positive social and health outcomes.”
The companies noted they only had control over what they supplied direct to schools. Choices over suppliers and products were up to the schools themselves.
Voluntary Schools Beverage Statement
The Government vision is an environment and society where individuals, families and whanau and communities are supported to eat well, live physically active lives and attain and maintain a healthy body weight.
In 2004 the food industry signed the voluntary Food Industry Accord in response to the Government’s vision. The Accord commits its signatories to:
Recognising that obesity is a major risk to public health and to working collaboratively to tackle it.
Doing all that is possible to encourage all sectors of the food industry to create commercially successful products and services that will make a positive contribution to the health of New Zealanders.
As a gesture of good faith, and in keeping with the spirit of the Accord to work collaboratively with Government on the obesity issue, both major soft drink manufacturers in New Zealand (being Coca Cola Amatil NZ Ltd (CCANZ) and Frucor Beverages Ltd (Frucor)) voluntarily agree to stop supplying full sugar carbonated soft drinks and full sugar energy drinks to all New Zealand schools by the 11th of December 2009.
Industry (CCANZ and Frucor) and Government jointly and voluntarily agree that:
From the date this agreement is signed in 2006 no new contract between CCANZ or Frucor with any school in New Zealand will include sales of full sugar carbonated soft drinks and full sugar energy drinks.
As a result, by the 11th of December 2009 no full sugar carbonated soft drinks or full sugar energy drinks will be directly supplied to any schools (primary, intermediate and secondary) in New Zealand.
Government prefers to establish alliances between Government and industry in the fight against obesity rather than legislation and regulation.
This Government does not intend to develop new legislation or regulations to ban beverages produced by CCANZ or Frucor from New Zealand schools during its term of office.
This Government will take steps, through the National Education Guidelines, to require school boards of trustees to develop their own policies and goals on health and nutrition for students, within a food classification framework provided by Government.
This Government expects school boards to substitute the products available to students to reduce the amount of sugar consumed at school.
Government acknowledges that the voluntary undertakings of CCANZ and Frucor are an industry driven initiative.
Government acknowledges the leadership, sincerity and commitment shown by CCANZ and Frucor to voluntary initiatives that make a contribution to solving the obesity issue in New Zealand.
“The signatories are committed to continuing a constructive and collaborative partnership, in line with the obligations under the Food Industry Accord, to address the obesity issue.”