When we served our first Coke in Atlanta over 128 years ago, we got people talking. People started telling their friends about a new drink called Coca-Cola that was available at the local soda fountain. At the time, we also gave out ‘free trial’ coupons. This got people talking even more. 

Over the last 100 years or so word spread even further, and so did the places you could buy a Coke. And we are grateful to every person who shared a coke with a friend, or told someone how much they loved one of our ads or that special Coke taste.

We get the power of conversation. We understand word-of-mouth. After all, we built our business on it.

However, sometimes we hear things that just aren’t accurate. And sometimes, when we hear serious accusations, we need to shed some light on the truth. This is one such time.

Over recent weeks we’ve been asked about our business in Israel and our presence across the Middle East. We’ve also heard some inaccurate statements that have prompted people to call for a boycott of our products.

We want to address two of the most prominent questions head on:

1.    Does Coca-Cola transfer profits or funds to Israel? 

No we don’t. Coca-Cola is fully committed to the region and does not favor one country over another anywhere in the world, financially or otherwise. We can categorically confirm that Coca-Cola does not transfer funds to support armed forces in any country – not to armed forces in Israel nor anywhere else in the world. We do not support conflict in any way and any allegation that we do is simply false.

2.    Does Coca-Cola produce beverages on disputed land? 

No we don’t. We have a bottling agreement in Israel with Central Bottling Company (CBC) which is 100% privately-owned with Coca-Cola plants in Bnai Brak and Askelon. We can definitively confirm that no Coca-Cola production facilities are located on any disputed territory in Israel.     

We’ve heard calls for boycotts on the back of some of these misperceptions. But here’s a truth: Coca-Cola may be a global brand but all our bottling operations are local - so the very first people to be hurt by these boycotts first are our local employees, followed by the thousands of retailers, distributors, farmers and others throughout our supply chain who rely upon on us for their livelihood.

And now we’d like to share some more truths. We operate across 14 countries in the Middle East and another six in North Africa, beginning with Egypt back in 1942. We launched our Palestinian operations in 1998 and today we have three bottling plants and seven distribution centers, including one in Gaza. We’ve invested $25 million in our Palestinian business in the last five years and today we employ 400 people directly and support 4,000 more through our supply chain. Next year we’ll invest $20 million in a brand new bottling plant in Gaza. Because we are deeply committed to the Palestinian community we serve.

We understand that people throughout the world care deeply about their fellow global citizens and want to provide support to them. And so do we. 

Coca-Cola has supported a significant number of social and environmental initiatives that are helping to contribute to the sustainability of Palestinian communities, of Israeli communities, and those in every single country in which we operate. We care passionately about our role in helping communities to thrive through programs that focus on youth and sports, health, education and the environment.

We recognize that the world will always face challenges, but when we first served a Coke in each country around the world we made a commitment to our consumers and employees there. And this is something we are going to honor. Forever.