Coca-Cola Ceases Operations in Venezuela Due to Sugar Shortage

July 14, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. recession / rɪˈsɛʃən / (n.) – a period of economic decline
Example: The ongoing recession has caused many people to lose their job.

2. ration / ˈræʃ ən / (v.) – to control the release or supply of something
Example: If the country’s sugar supply won’t increase, the government will start rationing it.

3. dwindle /ˈdwɪn dl/ (v.) – to gradually decrease
Example: The supply of sugar has dwindled in the country.

4. cease /sis/ (v.) – to stop
Example: Many companies have ceased production in Venezuela.

5. abandon /əˈbæn dən/ (v.) – to leave behind
Example: The company abandoned its factories after shutting them down.


Read the text below.
Coca-Cola stops the production of some beverages in Venezuela due to scarcity of sugar.

This is on top of the recession that the country faces due to the decline in global oil prices. Ninety-five percent of Venezuela’s foreign earnings come from the petroleum industry.

In 2015, the country’s economy fell by 5.7 percent and the International Monetary Fund expects that it will shrink by an additional 8 percent this year. As a result, the government has taken control of the country’s dollar reserves, strictly rationing the access of companies and individuals to dollars. This regulation in dollar access has made it difficult to import raw materials, food, machine parts, and other supplies. This then resulted in the dwindling supply of basic necessities like sugar.

Due to the sugar shortage, Coca-Cola will temporarily cease operations of its sugared beverages, except for Coca-Cola Light. Production of bottled water will also continue. According to Kerry Tesler, Coca-Cola’s spokesperson, the company is now working with suppliers and government officials to come up with a solution.

Coca-Cola is not the first company to stop production in the country. In April 2016, Empresas Polar Inc., the biggest private company in Venezuela, announced that it will be stopping beer production due to the regulation of foreign currency needed to purchase malted barley. Other large-scale companies such as Ford, Procter & Gamble, Colgate, and General Motors have either abandoned or slowed down operations in the country.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How do you think the halt in production will affect Coca-Cola Venezuela?
·         What do you think could happen to the country if more multinational companies abandoned operations there?

Discussion B

·         Which company in your country would have a huge impact if it stopped production?
·         What are the advantages and disadvantages of having many multinational companies in a country?

July 14, 2016