Coca-Cola Australia is honouring Australia’s firefighters with the creation of a limited-edition Share a Coke with the Firies can as part of a new million dollar bushfire emergency relief package.
The cans will not be available for sale but will be donated to fire fighters and other volunteers as an “expression of thanks”, and in fire-affected communities.
“We wanted to express our gratitude and heartfelt thanks to all the firies and volunteers on the frontlines of this national crisis. We are humbled by their courage and resilience as the bushfire tragedy continues to unfold here in Australia,” Coca-Cola Australia President, Vamsi Mohan Thati, said.
As part of a new relief package announced on Monday, The Coca-Cola Foundation is making a $1 million donation to The Salvation Army’s immediate disaster relief efforts in fire-affected communities, while Coca-Cola Australia is donating $250,000 to the NSW Rural Fire Service, the Country Fire Authority Victoria, and the South Australian Country Fire Service Foundation.
“The funds will go directly toward helping fire-affected communities recover from the crisis and include items such as food, water, bedding and medical supplies for displaced families, free drinks, and financial assistance for shopkeepers in fire zones,” the soft drinks giant said in a statement.
The beverage giant has already been providing water and other beverages to those fighting and affected by the fires.
“We know it is far from over and we remain committed to doing our part for as long as it takes for local communities and our customers to make a full recovery,” Thati said.
In addition, Coke’s beverage partner, Coca-Cola Amatil, will donate up to $375,000 in the form of employee matched giving to all registered charities, donated beverages and will also establish a financial support package for its 2118 small business customers in areas affected by fires.
Managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil Australia, Peter West, said the support could include extended credit terms or additional product.
“Many of our small business customers are at the heart of devastated regional communities and some have lost everything,” West said. “Others are without power and have lost both local and tourism income.”
“As a business, our customers are part of our family and we’re keen to help them out as the recovery effort continues. That’s why this package of business support is important alongside the assistance we’re providing to communities and first responders.
West pointed to the Mallacoota Bakery in East Gippsland, which has had no power and limited road access, while Fuel East Lynne near Ulladulla, which was first surrounded by fire in early December, is still suffering from reduced customer trade.