End Pouring Rights at UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst

End_pouring_rights_at_umass_amherst

End Pouring Rights At UMass Amherst

We, as concerned and engaged students and community members, demand that UMass Amherst eliminates its Pouring Rights contract. We are calling on the university to uphold its commitment to foster a socially just and sustainable campus for its students by declining to renew its current contract with Coca Cola, which expires on July 31, 2019 and to refrain from seeking another. In doing so, UMass Amherst will demonstrate a refusal to submit to the restrictive control of profit-hungry corporations and instead have the opportunity to source beverages from whichever sources best suit the goals and needs of the people on our campus.

What are Pouring Rights?

Exclusive rights of a beverage maker/distributor to sell its products at a particular venue, event, or institution.


What do they look like at UMass Amherst?

Coca Cola has Pouring Rights at UMass Amherst. This means the corporation’s “Company Beverages will be the only Beverages sold, served, distributed, sampled, or otherwise made available on Campus” with some Permitted Exceptions. For example, Coca Cola will allow “Local Competitive Products” (as long as they don’t take up more than 20% of the total beverage shelf space in any outlet on Campus, which must be matched with the corresponding product of Coca Cola’s).


Why do we care?

UMass Dining is #1 in the country and a great source of pride for the university. The first paragraph on their homepage discusses year-round local sourcing, sustainable menus and “the aim of supporting the New England Food System.” It goes on to say that “Our sustainable practices not only benefit our campus, but our global community as a whole.”


Not only do we support and respect these values, we also demand them from our university - and our current Pouring Rights contract with Coca Cola illegitimates them. It is a corrupt mechanism to lock us into a deal which does not reflect our vision for what our campus should support and promote. THE CONTRACT EXPIRES ON JULY 31, 2019; NOW IS OUR CHANCE TO ENACT CHANGE!


How do Pouring Rights contradict our values at UMass?

  1. Under the current contract, we prioritize a multinational corporation over the local producers we claim to support. What does this say about our commitment to our local food system?

  2. UMass Dining wants to educate students on “the importance of protecting the longevity of our environment” and “instill them with sustainable eating practices.” Coca Cola and their competitors’ (i.e. Pepsi) operations are inconsistent with these goals. They do not benefit our global community, as evidenced by their excess use of vital water to make soft drinks in Tamil Nadu, India - an agricultural area suffering from droughts. They exploit vulnerable populations in their marketing strategies: targeting children, despite pledging not to, and capitalizing on nations where there have been fewer public health campaigns on the impacts of sugar. Through the American Beverage Association, Coca Cola and other major beverage companies lobby to influence public policy and act to defeat public health measures.

  3. We deserve to have autonomy over our own decisions, to evolve without remaining beholden to authoritative decisions of multinational corporations. Presently, we do not; UMass Amherst “agrees that Sponsor [Coca Cola] has the right to assert remedies for any breach of these covenants, regardless of whether the breach results from the actions of a third party not under University’s control.” If we terminate Pouring Rights, we can still purchase products from whichever vendors we choose, but we will not be bound to them.


What can we do?

UMass Amherst can demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, social justice and the local community! We, as students, can demand that our university do better. With national attention on our award-winning Dining program, we set the standard for universities across all 50 states.


Sign the petition against Pouring Rights at UMass Amherst.

Petition by
Uprooted and Rising UMass Amherst
Amherst Town of, Massachusetts

To: UMass Amherst
From: [Your Name]

We, as concerned and engaged students and community members, demand that UMass Amherst eliminates its Pouring Rights contract. We are calling on the university to uphold its commitment to foster a socially just and sustainable campus for its students by declining to renew its current contract with Coca Cola, which expires on July 31, 2019 and refraining from seeking another. In doing so, UMass Amherst will demonstrate a refusal to submit to the restrictive control of profit-hungry corporations and instead have the opportunity to source beverages from whichever sources best suit the goals and needs of the people on our campus.​

UMass Amherst can demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, social justice and the local community! We, as students, can demand that our university do better. With national attention on our award-winning Dining program, we set the standard for universities across all 50 states.

That's why I am signing the petition against Pouring Rights at UMass Amherst.