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Coca-cola shuts factory trips for students amid Britain obesity backlash

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 6 March 2018, 12:41 IST

The Coca-Cola Co. in Britain is going to stop arranging factory trips for school students amid backlash that the sugary drinks are increasing the country's obesity issues.

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has announced that it will be shutting down both its educational programme and the Real Business Challenge in order to reassess the way in which the brand works with young people.

Real Business Challenge is a national competition that aims to help pupils develop useful skills such as teamwork and problem-solving.

CCEP has hosted more than 110,000 visitors at its six education centres, over the past decade.

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It welcomes more than 15,000 secondary school and university students every year.

About 390,000 secondary school students have also taken part in the Real Business Challenge.

"Although we took the difficult decision to close our education programme last summer, this decision was taken internally and was not in response to any external pressures relating to our business or our products," The Independent quoted a spokesman from CCEP as saying.

The spokesman further emphasised that the company remains committed to addressing the barriers that prevent young people from entering the workplace.

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"We are currently reviewing how we can continue our work with young people in ways that best support their needs in the communities in which we operate. We are proud of our education programme and the role it played in helping to improve the employability skills of many thousands of young people for more than a decade," said the Spokesman.

The spokesman also said that those visiting the Education Centers were only ever offered water or juices to drink, "in line with the school food regulations".

First published: 6 March 2018, 12:41 IST