The Coca-Cola Company and its U.S. bottling system today released Model Guidelines for School Beverage Partnerships, which will apply to all current and future relationships between Coca-Cola and K-12 schools in the U.S. Developed in direct consultation with leaders from the education community, the Guidelinoped guidelines that give educators the power to choose what’s right for their students, and the flexibility to raise funds for important youth development and physical activity initiatives that are especially vital in today’s budget climate.”
National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Executive Director, Brenda Welburn, who reviewed the Guidelines during the development phase, hailed the announcement as a positive step in addressing the needs of school decision-makers. “Strategic partnerships with many types of businesses directly benefit academic initiatives, extracurricular programs, staff development and other activities that drive achievement,” said Welburn. “School administrators who create partnerships with beverage companies can use these guidelines to address issues such as commercialism and nutrition that tend to drive debates about beverage contracts.”
“These Guidelines are a useful model for educators who are striving to maximize the benefits of beverage partnerships while responding to the wishes of their communities,” said Dr. Gerald Tirozzi, Executive Director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), who also reviewed the Guidelines.
“These Guidelines offer a solution that has been endorsed system-wide by Coca-Cola bottlers,” said Jack Pelo, President of the Coca-Cola Bottlers Association.
Developed as voluntary guidelines for school decision-makers, the Guidelines for School Beverage Partnerships will apply to all of the Coca-Cola system’s activities in schools. They address four key issues that are of special concern to school administrators:
1) Contracts and financial arrangements
2) Beverage availability and a wider variety of choice in schools
3) Logos and signage on school grounds
4) Program and product promotions
Coca-Cola hopes that other beverage companies will adopt the Guidelines, and that school decision-makers will use the Guidelines to ensure that beverage companies remain responsible and sensitive partners in addressing their presence in schools.
Contracts and Financial Arrangements
The Guidelines state that the Coca-Cola system will:
* Respect the right of parents, teachers and school officials to choose the beverages that will be available to their students.
* Provide a reliable and consistent level of resources for the length of the partnership, rather than one-time, upfront payments. This approach will help to even out budget fluctuations from year to year and provide a consistent amount of funds to schools over time.
* Discourage the use of brokers or “third-party” intermediaries, as they charge fees to schools and school districts that diminish the revenues that are available to schools.
Beverage Availability in Schools
The Guidelines indicate that Coca-Cola will be responsive and respectful regarding each school’s choice of beverages. They provide the following provisions:
* Technology/Timers will be made available to school partners to place time constraints on specific vending machines to meet requirements and local preferences.
* Carbonated soft drinks will not be made available to students in elementary schools during the school day. Products for students in elementary schools should include 100% juices, milk-based products, juice drinks, rehydrating sports drinks and waters.
* Products for middle and high school cafeterias should include 100% juices, milk-based products, juice drinks, teas, rehydrating sports drinks and water.
* Vending machines in middle schools may include 100% juices, milk-based products, water, juice drinks, teas, rehydrating sports drinks and carbonated soft drinks.
* Vending machines in high schools should include 100% juices, milk-based products, water, juice drinks, teas, rehydrating sports drinks and carbonated soft drinks.
* A full array of juices, water and other products will be made available wherever carbonated soft drinks are sold.
* Swerve, Coca-Cola’s new milk-based product, which bears the Real Milk seal, will be made available to middle and high schools.
* Beverage pricing should encourage choice. Carbonated soft drinks, when
and where available, and Dasani water will be offered to students at the same price and in comparable packages.
Logos and Signage on School Grounds
The Coca-Cola system respects the educational mission of schools and will be a responsible partner in displaying its trademarks to students in schools.
Coca-Cola believes that school and community leaders should determine how and where logos and other signage related to beverage companies and their products are used. The Company will adhere to the following practices:
* Beverage logos and other marketing graphics will not be used in textbooks, curriculum materials, or on book covers.
* Vending machine graphics should show a wide variety of beverage options.
As new equipment is placed in schools, signage on vending machines will feature graphics that promote educational activities, physical fitness and non-carbonated beverage choices.
Program and Product Promotions
The Coca-Cola System will be a responsible partner regarding promotional activities within the schools.
* Promotional activities will be limited to programs that are requested by school officials to support academic achievement and physical activity.
* All promotional activities in schools must connect to physical activity, academic achievement, or positive youth development. School decision-makers should shape these activities in accordance with the wishes of their communities, and in compliance with school and school district policies.
“Coca-Cola respects the core mission of schools and has always sought to support that mission,” said Jeffrey Dunn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Coca-Cola North America. “Today’s announcement is an opportunity to show that the company and our bottlers are committed to providing significant benefits for students and schools through our beverage partnerships.”
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s best-known brand, The Coca-Cola Company markets four of the world’s top five soft drink brands, including diet Coke, Fanta, and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees and sports drinks. Through the world’s largest distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate exceeding 1 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our Web site at www.coca-cola.com.
SOURCE The Coca-Cola Company; Coca-Cola Enterprises
CONTACT: Kari Bjorhus of The Coca-Cola Company, +1-404-676-2532, or Laura Asman of Coca-Cola Enterprises, +1-770-989-3023