The Coca-Cola Company and its Palestinian bottling partner, National Beverage Company (NBC), today inaugurated the first Coca-Cola bottling plant in Gaza, which will eventually employ over 270 people and indirectly support more than 2,700 households in the region. The new plant represents a $20 million investment and expands NBC’s Palestinian operations to four bottling plants and four distribution centers.
With more than 600 current employees, NBC is the third-largest Palestinian employer and fifth-largest Palestinian investor, and has been serving Palestinian communities and investing in its operations for more than 18 years since first bottling Coca-Cola in 1998. The new plant spans more than 15,000 square meters and contains a single bottling line capable of filling up to 36,000 returnable glass bottles per hour with Coca-Cola sparkling beverages.
The beverages will be distributed to over 4,000 outlets in Gazan communities through 18 branded trucks which will move from city to city and from village to village.
Future expansion plans already underway will introduce new bottling lines and new delivery trucks to the plant, expanding the number of employees from 120 today to 270 over the next three years.
“National Beverage Company and Coca-Cola share great pride in having been part of the fabric of Palestinian communities for almost 18 years and our new Gaza plant shows our ongoing commitment to investing in and supporting progress in communities around the world," said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company. "We believe that strong businesses can enable strong communities and we are delighted to welcome new Gazan employees, distributors and retailers to our Coca-Cola system.”
The plant, which first began production in April 2016 and has now reached full capacity, was officially inaugurated at an event hosted by senior Coca-Cola and NBC executives and attended by leaders from the Palestinian business community and civil society.
To coincide with the inauguration, The Coca-Cola Foundation and NBC also officially announced a new $1.3 million charitable initiative that will be implemented by the global organization Mercy Corps and is designed to address two regional development challenges – ensuring access to clean drinking water and creating employment opportunities for Palestinian youth. Learn more.
Over the last 18 years, NBC has established a strong local supply chain of suppliers, retailers and distributors, creating an economic multiplier effect of more than 10 indirect jobs supported for every direct employee.
Zahi Khouri, founder and chairman of NBC, added, “Ever since NBC first began operations, we have been firmly committed to building a successful Palestinian business that can create employment opportunities, support the national economy and demonstrate the great capabilities of our region while serving products of the very highest quality. The opening of our first Gaza plant is an important milestone on this journey.”