Britvic sign exclusivity deal with university

UCD has negotiated a deal with Britvic Ireland that entitles them to exclusively sell the products across campus in an effort to secure funding.The deal ensures that Coca-Cola company products including Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite will no longer be stocked in any shops, restaurants or vending machines on campus.The deal ensures that no outlet on campus will sell any non-Britvic product. Britvic products include Ballygowan, Club Orange and Pepsi.A university spokesperson stated that a decision was made to put the vending out to tender in an effort to “improve cost effectiveness and service”.The deal is expected to go ahead despite 52% percent of UCD students voting to overturn the UCDSU Coca-Cola boycott last year. The ban was initiated in 2003 by UCDSU and put to the student body to vote on as a sign of opposition to the murder of several of its unionised employees in Columbia.In September 2006, the UCD Federal Court proclaimed that Coca-Cola was not found to be in violation of any human rights, a statement reaffirmed by the US Court of Appeals in 2009.The University Observer is not aware if the ban overturn was taken into consideration in the UCD-Britvic negotiations.UCDSU President Paul Lynam believes that “the college must take financial decisions in the best interests of the institution,’’ while acknowledging that students must be given the widest choice possible.“In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to make such decisions, but we must be realistic and explore options that offer more funding for UCD and its students.”Lynam has said that he feels that it is difficult for the SU to oppose such a deal when they are lobbying against funding cuts, despite holding a referendum to overturn the Coca-Cola boycott. He stated that that they will “explore any initiative that allows UCD to continue to provide the highest standards of education for its students”.Exclusivity deals, such as the one entered into by UCD, are more common in American universities with Pennsylvania State University being the first to sign a $14 million contract with Pepsi-Cola to exclusively sell their products for ten years in 1992. Many American universities have since followed suit, including the University of Maryland, the University of Oregon and the University of Cincinnati. It is thought that UCD will be a test run for such business deals occurring in Europe and that other universities may also enter into deals with drinks companies.