Queen’s and Coca-Cola negotiations in ‘blackout phase’

In previous years Coca-Cola granted ORT $25,000

Image by: Herbert Wang
The contract expires at the end of August.

Queen’s is negotiating the future of Coca-Cola’s on campus.

Queen’s University signed a 10-year contract in 2012. Under the contract, all university food and beverage locations could only sell Coca-Cola products. The contract expired on August 21, 2022, but was extended for another year.

Queen’s University and Coca-Cola are in the “blackout phase” of negotiations, according to the University. Queen’s denied The Journal’s request to comment in accordance with Federal and Provincial Public Procurement Legislation.

During a negotiation blackout, neither party is allowed to discuss the details of the contract with the media until a final contract is signed.

This is the second time Queen’s sat at the table with Coca-Cola. A contract signed in 2000 between Coca-Cola and Queen’s was valued at $5.82 million. Coca-Cola denied The Journal’s request for comment.

In 2009, then Residence and Hospitality Services Director, Bruce Griffiths, said the Coca-Cola contract granted the company status as ‘official sponsor and supplier’ of Queen’s Athletics. This was in addition to Coca-Cola’s monopoly on cold beverages.

READ MORE: Cold beverage consultative group conducting campus-wide survey

In the past, AMS commissioners have collaborated to oppose the exclusivity agreement raising environmental and social issues concerns.

“With the current state of negotiations, we are going to be deciding what advocacy could look like going forward based on the outcomes of the [University’s] decision,” said Victoria Mills, AMS vice-president (university affairs), in an interview with The Journal.

“We do hope that the student voices are listened to and that is our primary goal.”

READ MORE: Students want Coke off-campus

Coca-Cola provided a grant to the AMS for orientation because of their agreement with Queen’s University. Previously the grant was $25,000, but the AMS hasn’t received the grant over the last two years.

“Orientation as a division of the AMS in the past 10-years received the Coca-Cola grant, which adheres to our orientation policies to increase financial accessibility,” said Mariah Keeling, orientation roundtable coordinator, in an interview with The Journal.

The grant reduces the operational costs of orientation, which Keeling credited for improving the availability of orientation events to students.

The negotiations related to the terms and conditions of the grant are outside the scope of the Orientation Roundtable’s (ORT) involvement, Keeling added.

Despite not being aware of the ongoing negotiations, Mills and Keeling hope the University considers student advocacy moving forward.


AMS, Coca-Cola, negotiations, Queen's

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