Coke stays on campus

Contract gives $4.1 million to student wellness

A renewed exclusivity contract will see Coca-Cola products on campus for another 10 years.
A renewed exclusivity contract will see Coca-Cola products on campus for another 10 years.
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Queen’s has renewed their exclusivity contract with Coca-Cola for the next 10 years. 

The contract will give Coke the exclusive right to sell their products in vending machines and other food outlets throughout campus.

The original 10-year exclusivity contract was signed in 2000, with $4 million of the $5.8 million given through the contract allocated to Queen’s Centre construction.

While the contract was set to end in 2010, it was forcibly extended until this year, due to Queen’s failing to reach its sales quota from campus vending machines.

The decision to re-sign over exclusivity rights to the company was made in the spring said Bruce Griffiths, director of Housing and Hospitality Services at Queen’s. 

“It’s a pretty standard length for these kinds of agreements” Griffiths said.

$4.1 million from the contract will go towards funding student wellness. 

“We did consider other options and students felt quite strongly that funds should go to student wellness,” Griffiths said.

Other programs and initiatives to receive some funding include student employment, support of athletics and deliverables which provide opportunity for Coca-Cola advertisement on campus. 

Queen’s was unable to release news of their decision prior to signing a formal contract due to broader public sector guidelines Griffiths said.

Despite there being only one other bidder involved with Queen’s for an exclusivity contract, Griffiths said, “Coke’s financial offer was considerably better.”

Prior to the decision the matter was discussed among the small Cold Beverage Steering Committee. Members included presidents from the AMS and SGPS.

After the 2000 contract was signed, Queen’s, like other institutions, faced resistance from those against some of Coca-Cola’s alleged human rights abuses. Concerns about these allegations were considered and addressed before re-signing, according to Griffiths.

“We really kept in mind they were all alleged” he said. 

Ray Rogers, director of the International Killer Coke campaign –— a group against the company’s practices, said that Queen’s contract renewal is unethical. 

“What the campus admin has done has aligned itself with a company that operates like a criminal syndicate with impunity” he said. “It shows they have a complete lack compassion, empathy and high moral standards.”

— With files from Vincent Matak

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