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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

By:  Journey Staff 10/03/2016

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. What is the purpose of this website? 

This website is an important step forward for Coca-Cola South Pacific to transparently share its financial support of health and wellbeing scientific research and partnerships, including community health and wellbeing programs. Similar to our efforts in the United States and United Kingdom, we list the expert individuals and organisations we have worked from 2010 to 2015.  The website makes the information easily accessible and is searchable, and highlights the actions we have taken related to how we market The Coca-Cola Company’s products in Australia.

2. Why are you releasing this information now?

We understand people have questions about our support of research and partnerships related to health and wellbeing and we are delivering on our timeline as publicly reported to both the media and specific enquiries over the last few months. The sharing of our financial support of health and wellbeing scientific research and partnerships is a first step in our broader efforts to be even more transparent. This website follows the disclosures published in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. We will continue to update this information for Australia every 12 months.

3. What other actions will The Coca-Cola Company be taking toward greater transparency of its partnerships and research?

The sharing of our financial support of health and wellbeing scientific research and partnerships is a first step in our broader efforts to be even more transparent and we will provide these disclosures internationally. As we first communicated in an op/ed by Muhtar Kent on Aug. 20, 2015 in the Wall Street Journal, we will also charter and recruit an independent oversight committee who will advise us and provide guidance on our future approach to funding health and wellbeing scientific research. We will also meet with respected experts to explore and understand future opportunities for health and wellbeing scientific research and initiatives. As we continue along this journey and improve our approach to scientific research, we will publicly share our progress.

4. What does the word “partnership” mean in this list?

For purposes of this list, we use the term ‘partnership’ in an informal sense, referring to our relationship with entities based in Australia that have received funding from Coca-Cola South Pacific or The Coca-Cola Company’s U.S. corporate headquarters to support their health and wellbeing programs and communications activities conducted in Australia from 2010 to 2015. In addition to this we have also included community partnerships that have received funding through our and Coca-Cola Amatil (Aust) Pty Ltd’s philanthropic arm, the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation, related to health and wellbeing programs.

5. Does Coca-Cola South Pacific conduct research on health and wellbeing?  

Coca-Cola South Pacific does not conduct its own research on health and wellbeing. We support research efforts by independent and respected research institutions and universities. As detailed in our published list, these include highly respected universities, institutions and organisations who are recognised experts in their fields. The recipients of our research funding have control over how their research is designed and conducted.

6. Why does Coca-Cola South Pacific fund research?

Coca-Cola South Pacific funds the research we have listed on our website to explore questions that have been raised about our products, improve our understanding of the role our drinks play in people’s diets and to increase knowledge relating to obesity. We provided this funding to independent and respected professionals and institutions. These researchers are expected to:  

  • conduct research that is factual, transparent, and designed objectively;

  • generate an appropriately-phrased hypothesis and to conduct research that will answer relevant questions, rather than favour a particular outcome; 

  • have full control of the study design and execution and the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data; 

  • be encouraged to publish; and 

  • disclose their funding sources in all publications and public presentations of the data. 

Under no circumstances does Coca-Cola South Pacific have the right to prevent the publication of research results (nor does the company provide funding conditioned on the outcome of the research).

Coca-Cola South Pacific also funds other research so we can best inform our business and consumers about our ingredients, products, and packaging. 

7. What is included in your research listing? Why did you exclude some research?

We have included research funding provided by Coca-Cola South Pacific or The Coca-Cola Company’s U.S. corporate headquarters to entities based in Australia for research relating to dietary intake, nutrition, and health, or to physical activity. We have excluded research by entities not based in Australia and not funded by The Coca-Cola Company’s U.S. corporate headquarters. Also excluded are research on ingredients, packaging, products, or brands that is not related to dietary intake, nutrition, and health, or to physical activity, and research and development on new ingredients, packaging, products, or brands. 

8. When you publish your funding efforts on your website, what assurance do we have that the list is complete?

We have made a good-faith effort to disclose all funding that meets the inclusion criteria. If we have inadvertently omitted something that meets those criteria, we will disclose it in one of our future updates, which we plan to provide every 12 months. 

9. Why didn’t you include funding of experts or organizations that you worked with outside of Australia? How can I find out how much you paid to them?

This site lists funding provided from Jan. 1, 2010-Dec. 31, 2015 by Coca-Cola South Pacific or The Coca-Cola Company’s U.S. corporate headquarters to entities and individuals based in Australia for research or partnerships relating to dietary intake, nutrition, and health, or to physical activity. We have excluded research by entities not based in Australia. Coca-Cola Australia has also worked with experts who are either from the U.S. or funded by the U.S. corporate headquarters. They are listed on the U.S. website http://transparency.coca-colacompany.com/health-professionals-and-scientific-experts. The funding provided for their work will be listed on the U.S. website as part of the six month update.

10. Do you expect the organisations that receive financial support from Coca-Cola to endorse your products?

No. Funding is provided on an unconditional basis and is provided to support the mission and goals of the organization. 

11. How can you be part of the solution to obesity if you are part of the problem?

We realise that obesity is a serious issue that impacts individuals, families and communities around the world and in Australia. That’s why we are working with business, government and communities to support tangible ways to help people address this challenge.

We are committed to playing our part to promote wellbeing with specific actions to provide more beverage choices and provide more information to help consumers choose the drinks that fit their lifestyle.

Key among these is the commitment to increase availability of smaller size packages, offer more lower sugar and kilojoule beverages options, and to increase the access of transparent nutrition information including voluntary adoption of the Australian Government Heath Star Rating scheme for Beverages.

For example:

  • Increased availability of smaller pack sizes. The 250mL can continues to grow in popularity in Australia and we’re expanding the availability of the 200mL ‘mini can’ and the 390mL PET bottles on store shelves.

  • Greater choice of lower kilojoule options. By the end of 2015, all of our top selling brands in Australia had a low-kilojoule alternative, including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta Orange and Powerade.

  • Launched Coca-Cola Life in 2015, our first Coca-Cola sweetened with a blend of sugar and stevia leaf extract. Coca-Cola Life has 35 percent less sugar and kilojoules than Coca-Cola.

For a challenge as complex as obesity, there is no one answer. But working together, we believe business, government, and communities can pursue solutions that support healthier communities around the world.