UC Davis Students Protest Potential Pepsi Contract

Special to the Vanguard

A group of student activists at UC Davis are protesting against efforts to procure a new exclusive pouring rights contract with PepsiCo. The group, Pepsi Off Campus UC Davis, is concerned about the health and environmental impacts of PepsiCo’s operations and products.

The protest echoes similar activism at UC Berkeley, SFSU, Humboldt State, and other colleges across the country in recent years. The ASUCD Environmental Policy and Planning Commission (EPPC) has launched Pepsi Off Campus UC Davis and published a letter urging administration not to sign a new Pouring Rights Contract (PRC) with Pepsi or any other large beverage company.

Leo Hecht, spokesperson for Pepsi Off Campus UC Davis, said “as students, we must show the administration that we will not stand for a contract that limits student choice and supports the second largest plastic polluter in the world.”

A new PRC would lock UC Davis into another decade-long contract that limits beverage choices on campus to only Pepsi products. A PRC allows Pepsi to promote unhealthy products packaged in wasteful single use plastic while calling itself the official soft drink of UC Davis.

The UC Davis Beverage Rights Industry Working Group, made up mostly of staff members and management from a wide range of departments including athletics, dining, and health, will decide whether to pursue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new PRC in mid June. An RFP would solicit bids from large beverage companies to sign a PRC. By not releasing an RFP, Davis could open the door to partnering with small, diverse, sustainable, and healthy beverage companies to give students more agency in their drink choices.

View our petition here:

(Image is from Berkeley protest)

For more information, please contact:
Leo Hecht, spokesperson for Pepsi Off Campus UC Davis:
lfhecht@ucdavis.edu / 323-459-1486

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