[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

Foster's quits after boycott threat

Subject: Foster's quits after boycott threat (SMH)

>X-URL: http://www.smh.com.au/daily/content/970417/world/world5.html
>     BURMA
>     Thursday, April 17, 1997
>Foster's quits after threat of Australian-led boycott
>     By MARK BAKER, Herald Correspondent in Bangkok
>     Foster's Brewing Group has quit the Burmese beer market - the first
>     Australian company to react to domestic consumer protests over
>     human rights abuses by Rangoon's military regime.
>     A spokeswoman for Foster's confirmed that the company had ordered a
>     halt to all direct beer sales to Burma and had instructed its local
>     distributors to stop advertising and promoting its products.
>     Public confirmation of the Burma pull-out came after a coalition of
>     student and Burmese activist groups based in Victoria called last
>     week for a national consumer boycott of Foster's beer.
>     The company spokeswoman said Foster's chief executive, Mr Ted
>     Kunkel, had decided to abandon the Burmese market late last year,
>     but denied that the decision was in response to political pressure.
>     "It's a business decision based on a full range of factors you'd
>     normally include in a business decision in Asia," she said.
>     Asked whether those factors included human rights abuses and
>     consumer boycotts, she said: "I couldn't comment on that, but
>     naturally we'd prefer not to get involved in any political
>     assessment."
>     Foster's has been selling beer to Burma for more than a decade
>     through a Singapore-based distributor. While a relatively small
>     player in the Burmese market, it had a high profile with large
>     advertising hoardings around the capital, Rangoon.
>     Activist groups in Australia have been targeting companies trading
>     and investing with Burma, accusing the military regime of
>     widespread human rights abuses and political repression.
>     United States and European companies have responded strongly over
>     the past year to consumer-led protests and a call by the Burmese
>     democracy leader, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, for an international trade
>     boycott.
>     European brewers Carlsberg and Heineken abandoned the Burmese
>     market last year, and PepsiCo severed its last links with Burma
>     earlier this year after campus protests across the US.
>     Other big international names to boycott Burma in recent months
>     include Eastman Kodak, Levi Strauss, Walt Disney, Hewlett-Packard
>     and Apple.
>     Some US states have legislated to ban trade with Burma and the
>     Clinton Administration has threatened to impose economic sanctions
>     if political repression worsens.
>     Australian exports to Burma rose by a third to $13.8 million last
>     year, mainly in electrical equipment, machinery and spare parts.
>     [8]Signpost
>      This material is subject to copyright and any unauthorised use, copying
>      or mirroring is prohibited.
KWIA Steungroep Inheemse Volkeren - KWIA Supportgroup for Indigenous peoples
Birma Werkgroep - Burma Group
Breughelstraat 31-33, 2018 Antwerpen, BELGIUM
Tel. 32-3-2188488     32-3-2377615
Fax  32-3-2304540