Photo: Duc Anh
Problem mostly down to paperwork issues that have now been resolved.
Mr. Nguyen Khoa My, Public Affairs and Communications Manager at Coca-Cola Vietnam, said on July 3 that the Vietnam Food Administration under the Ministry of Health (MoH) has granted permission to the company to resume sales of 13 kinds of drinks after it received legal certification.
The drinks been previously banned from sale in the local market by MoH due to “unqualified standards” of production.
“We have always strictly complied with the highest standards on management, quality, food safety, and the Vietnamese Government’s regulations as well as in other countries where we do businesses,” Mr. My told VET.
MoH previously requested Coca-Cola Vietnam cease selling the 13 drinks following a ministry inspection.
The 13 types of drinks were within five brands inspected: Minute Maid Nutriboost with three flavors (strawberry, orange, and mango), Samurai (in glass bottles and PET bottles), Samurai strawberry (in glass bottles and PET bottles), Minute Maid Teppy orange juice (in glass bottles), Aquarius mineral sport drink (in PET and aluminum cans), Dasani bottled water with added minerals, and Minute Maid Splash Smooth orange juice.
Authorities requested the company cease production and distribution and complete documents pursuant to regulations.
Mr. My acknowledged to VET that “the company did not remain updated on changes in legal provisions and promptly fixed its mistakes by completing the documents to register food safety conditions.”
Coca-Cola products were found in Vietnam from 1960 to the mid-1970s, primarily sodas. In 1994 it officially returned to Vietnam.
In August 1995 Coca-Cola Indochina and Vietnam Agricultural and Food Products (Vinafimex) established a joint venture based in the north. However, Vinafimex sold 30 per cent of its stake to Coca Cola after years of continuous losses totaling about $2 million.
In January 1998 Coca-Cola set up a joint venture with a beverage company in central Da Nang city called Coca-Cola Non Nuoc Co. Ltd. There is also another joint venture located in the south of the country called Coca-Cola Chuong Duong.
In October 1998 the government allowed joint venture companies to become 100 per cent foreign capital companies. These joint ventures became fully-owned by Coca-Cola Indochina after it bought the shares belonging to its Vietnamese partners.
From March to August 1999, three joint ventures transferred ownership. By June 2001 three companies were consolidated and went under Coca-Cola Vietnam, which then had a total capacity of nearly 400 million liters per year.
In 2012 the President and CEO of Coca-Cola announced additional investment of $300 million in Vietnam over the next three years, bringing its total investment to $500 million. In 2014 it invested an additional $210 million in further expanding its business in Vietnam.
Coca-Cola has manufacturing bases in seven cities and provinces, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Can Tho, Khanh Hoa and Nghe An. It has long been ranked among the Top 5 brands with the largest share in Vietnam’s beverage sector.