Rosa Amelia Gonzalez
EGADE Business School Mexico
IESA Business School Venezuela
In 2003, the FEMSA Corporation –a Mexican company– acquired 100% of the shares of the largest franchise of the Coca-Cola system in Latin America (PANAMCO), and placed itself at the lead of the sales of carbonated beverages and other soft drinks in different countries of South America, including Colombia, which had been struggling with armed groups since the 1970s.
This case explores how Coca-Cola FEMSA included different initiatives in its sustainability strategy, aimed at supporting the process of peaceful demobilization that would be carried out by the Alta Consejeria para la Reintegracion (ACR, High-Council for Reintegration) of the Colombian Government. As part of this disarmament process, the ACR offered the demobilized combatants different options for social reintegration, such as financing for starting new businesses and connections with companies that could provide jobs, among other things, which were also shared with the business sector to see how it could help support the process.
By August 2011, Coca-Cola FEMSA had already been collaborating with the Colombian Government for a little over three years, and had diversified its initiatives to support not only the former combatants, but also the soldiers, victims and general public affected by the conflict. Despite these multiple efforts, however, the actual impact of the company’s actions on the solution of the problem of reintegrating more than 50,000 demobilized combatants was still negligible. Therefore, the ACR requested greater commitment from the company in the form of a massive campaign to broadcast the initiatives, in an attempt to motivate and increase the number of participating companies.