Not enough gas nor bottles for soft drinksThis article was originally published in Foodnews
SOFT drinks are in short supply in Malawi due to a shortage of foreign currency to buy the carbon dioxide which is essential for carbonation, according to the Nyasa Times . Neil Murray writes: Carls-berg Malawi, the main producer in the country, is blaming the currency situation while others say the real problem is that too few of the returnable glass bottles used by the company (which is a joint venture between Coca-Cola Malawi, Southern Bottlers and Malawi Distilleries) are being returned by consumers, who keep them for their own use. Carlsberg is forced to import bottles, at some expense, and relies utterly on a good return rate. The shortage means that this summer, the company has been producing just one beverage type per day. The company has a PET plant and could switch to such packaging but it is reported by the paper that this goes against its environmental stance in the country. Meanwhile, consumers are having to queue for supplies of beverages such as Coca-Cola and Fanta, and local brands such as Coco-pina and Cherry-plum have become very scarce.