The University has announced it will resume purchasing Coca-Cola products, effective immediately.
The announcement came in a letter to the Coca-Cola Company April 11 from Timothy P. Slottow, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Peggy Norgren, associate vice president for finance.
U-M had suspended the purchase of Coca-Cola products Jan. 1 when the soft drink company was not able to proceed with an independent, third-party review of its labor and environmental concerns at its bottling plants in Colombia and India. The investigations were called for by the University’s Dispute Review Board, a faculty-led committee that looks into possible violations of U-M’s Vendor Code of Conduct.
The Coca-Cola Company sent a letter April 10 to the University outlining how and when the United Nations International Labor Organization will conduct an independent third-party review of the company’s labor practices in Colombia, and recommending a process for a third-party assessment of environmental concerns in India.
“We believe these next steps for carrying out the two investigations will allow for a credible, independent assessment of the concerns raised by our Dispute Review Board,” Slottow and Norgren wrote in their response.
The U-M letter noted that the investigations will be transparent, and that the final reports will be forwarded directly to the University without editing by Coca-Cola. “We expect these two review processes to move forward with reasonable speed, and we anticipate a continued dialogue about remediation of any concerns identified in the final reports,” Slottow and Norgren wrote.
Coca-Cola products are expected back in vending machines within a few days. The University’s correspondence with Coca-Cola and related materials are posted at: www.umich.edu/news/index.html?BG/cocacola.