NC-based Coca Cola bottling company pushes back against Surry County vending machine removal

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SURRY COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The removal of Coca-Cola vending machines in Surry County was at the top of the list in Monday’s public meeting.

In May, Surry County commissioners voted 3-2 to do away with Coca-Cola vending machines in county government buildings.

The voting came after CEO James Quincey commented about Georgia’s voting laws in early April.

Before the meeting, Commissioner Eddie Harris said big corporations have no say in politics.

“I just really don’t understand why they chosen to get involved in politics, they can do that through federal election laws through political action committees and contribute to candidates of their choice, but I really think they ought to stay out of politics,” said Harris.

During the public meeting, representatives from Coca-Cola Consolidated spoke, asking the commissioner panel to put the vending machines back. Coca-Cola Consolidated is a Charlotte based independent bottler.

“We’ve been good stewards to the community and good partners to y’all and, so we would ask that y’all reconsider your vote,” said Acie Campbell, Vice President, Market Unit & General Manager at Coca-Cola Consolidated.

Harris said 12 Coca-Cola vending machines will leave the county —from the old Courthouse, human services building in Mount Airy, Department of Social Services, sheriff’s office, permitting office, and health Department.

“There’s a much larger picture [than that]. I just think this toxic mix of big corporations trying to affect the political process in America is not healthy,” said Harris.

In a statement to FOX8, the company said they are proud to serve the Surry County community.

“As a company headquartered in North Carolina since 1902, Coca-Cola Consolidated is honored to serve Surry County and counties throughout the state. Our 37 teammates who live and work in Surry County are passionate about serving our customers and consumers in this area.”

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