STUDENTS at Manchester University have voted to ban Coca-Cola from the campus.
The fizzy drink will be taken off the shelves and withdrawn from university bars after allegations about the firm’s record in Third World countries.
The claims centre on its operations in India, Colombia and Turkey, with objections from international trade groups.
Coca-Cola denies claims of over-using local water sources at production plants in a region of India, preventing local farmers from adequately irrigating crops, and had also prevented workers at factories in Turkey from forming trade unions.
But a meeting of more than 400 students voted overwhelmingly in favour of the boycott after hearing that university campuses in other parts of the country had similar plans.
There have been similar measures by students at Leeds and Sussex universities.
Union general secretary Rob Owen said the union’s current contract with the drinks firm was highly lucrative and believed the boycott would send out a strong ethical message.
Coke’s products will be withdrawn from the five bars and two shops which are run by the students’ union next month.
Manchester students also voted to lobby for a nationwide boycott at the National Union of Students’ annual conference later this year.
A statement on the company’s website reads: “Allegations that the Coca-Cola Company is exploiting groundwater in India are without any scientific basis and are also not supported by the government authorities who regulate our water use in India, academics, or the local communities.”