USA – Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, the third-largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the United States, has opened a new US$10 million facility in Panama City.  

The 24,000-square-foot space is located at 2825 Forester Trail in Cedar Grove Commerce Park and houses a sales and distribution center. 

The facility also features a warehouse, fleet maintenance operation and administrative offices to benefit both associates and customers. 

Coca-Cola United in a statement said that the new facility represents a 13 percent increase in local jobs (82 to 94 associates), and a 17 percent increase in customers (1,162 to 1,400). 

With the facility, Coca-Cola United will also be able to increase its consumer reach by 36 percent (220,000 to 300,000), the statement revealed. 

Panama City Coca-Cola is one of the newest members of the Coca-Cola UNITED family, joining the company in November 2017. 

It delivers more than 2.9 million cases of beverages from the vast Coca-Cola portfolio to its customers across Northwest Florida annually. 

 The local bottler’s distribution territory spans seven counties along the Emerald Coast, stretching east from Rosemary Beach to Eastpoint, and north from Vernon to Bristol. 

Coca-Cola UNITED President and CEO John Sherman said in his remarks that no grand opening was more special or gratifying than today’s event in Panama City. 

“This investment by Coca-Cola UNITED demonstrates our long-term commitment to Bay County, all of our local communities, our loyal customers, and last but not least, our associates,” Paul Corbin Panama City Sales Center Manager said. 

Corbin added the new facility creates an improved work environment for associates and provides more distribution capacity to better serve customers, consumers, and communities. 

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo fined in India 

Meanwhile in India, Coca-Cola bottler Moon Beverages and its competitor Varun Beverages (PepsiCo) have been fined by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for violating groundwater usage norms laid down by Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA). 

According to the 246-page judgment, NGT hauled up the three bottling facilities for violation of environmental laws by operating without the required “No Objection Certificate” (NOC) to withdraw groundwater. 

Both the companies were also accused of violating the license terms by not fulfilling the obligations to recharge groundwater, said the release. 

The Tribunal wrote that the companies “are responsible for illegal extraction of groundwater at least after the expiry of NOCs, issued to them by CGWA.  

As a result, Moon Beverages will be required to pay a fine of US$2 million while Varun will be paying US$1.3 million for illegally extracting groundwater from the land at their respective manufacturing plants located in Uttar Pradesh. 

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