Printer Friendly

$1 billion pledged to vendors.

Reacting to the growing number of minorities and women in the marketplace, The Coca-Cola Co. has vowed to spend $1 billion on goods and services from minority and women-owned businesses by 1996. Company officials say the move makes good business sense, and increases opportunities for minority and women entrepreneurs to participate in the nation's economic mainstream.

Ingrid Saunders Jones, Coca-Cola vice president, corporate external affairs, says the four-year initiative is not a set-aside. The $1 billion is a projection of money that will be spent in the normal course of business operations. Last year, the soft drink giant, spent in excess of $132 million with minority and women suppliers. The company spent nearly $700 million during the 1980s.

"What's important is that Coca-Cola took a look at the business they were doing and decided it wasn't enough," says Harriet Michel, president of the New York-based National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). "If every corporation would just do that, the impact would really be significant."

Despite the excitement in some business circles, Anthony Robinson, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc., says such plans rarely make significant long-range impacts. "I hear this stuff quite often from corporate America, but seldom are you able to get the supportive data to substantiate their claims," he warns. Robinson says that if a company spends most of its money with distributors that actually work for the large corporation, it is only a transfer of funds. "Unless you know who they're spending the money with and how, it doesn't mean much.... It doesn't feed and build black business development."

Robinson says that networking among the participants and monitoring by the minority business community would be needed to insure the program's success. But Saunders Jones says the commitment to minority and women-owned business development is real. "We have our own internal mechanism for tracking the program. There's no question that our goal can and will be achieved," she says.

For John F. Robinson, president and CEO of the New York-based National Minority Business Council Inc., the determining factor will be whether minority firms will help each other. "Firms who are tapped by the initiative will grow and be better off from the experience. Hopefully those businesses will reach out and help others who weren't a part of it," he says.

Minority and women-owned businesses that are certified with regional purchasing councils are encouraged to apply. For more information, contact NMSDC at 212-944-2430.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Coca-Cola promises to buy goods and services from minority and women-owned businesses
Author:Ramsey, Vikki L.
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Jul 1, 1992
Words:414
Previous Article:$25 million deal: Maxima.
Next Article:New job city.
Topics:


Related Articles
The Pepsi Challenge.
WITH THE MAN IN MIND; PEPSI MAKER SWITCHES TARGETS IN LAUNCHING ITS SECOND DIET COLA.
OH, THE THINGS YOU'LL SEE IN ATLANTA.
Kill the ref: a competition watchdog struggles to grow teeth in a changing Mexico. (Government).
The Pepsi challenge. (Panorama).
Unreal thing. (Artifact).
COKE CUTS FUNDING FOR DECATHLON QUITS ACADEMIC CONTEST AFTER SCHOOLS DECIDE TO DROP SODA.
Coca-Cola bottler up for sale: CEO J. Bruce Llewellyn seeks retirement.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters