Coca-Cola withdraws IFC loan application following union challenge

30 September 2010

Coca-Cola Pakistan retreated from a proposed a $60 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector arm, after a trade union announced plans to challenge the investment. In May, the IFC began its loan appraisal process including an environmental and social review, which appeared satisfied with the company’s plans to handle any negative impacts. However, when the International Union of Food Workers (IUF) submitted its complaint, it was informed that the application had been withdrawn. The IUF said: “why would Coke walk away at the last minute from $60 million on easy terms? Was it worried its claims to meet the performance standards couldn’t withstand [renewed] IFC scrutiny once the IUF filed its formal complaint?”