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Foster's quits after boycott threat
- Subject: Foster's quits after boycott threat
- From: kwia@xxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 00:29:00
Subject: Foster's quits after boycott threat (SMH)
> 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
> 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
> 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.
> 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