Fair trade French cola

Perhaps the most famous “altercola” – a political alternative to Coke or Pepsi – is Mecca Cola, which sends 10 percent of its profits to charities operating in Palestinian territories and 10 percent to European NGOs., but here in France there are a number of regional colas which satisfy both fair trade and localist criteria.

Beuk Cola, for example, is made in Brittany by a cooperative based in Morlaix called Kan Ar Bed, and its advertising slogan proclaims “this is not an imperialist drink!” (“ce n’est pas une boisson impĂ©rialiste!”). Beuk is sweetened with brown sugar from a cooperative in Costa Rica, via Oxfam in Belgium. Originally launched in 2002 for the Brittany market, it is now available all over France, notably through the fair trade cooperative Andines. Other regional “altercolas” include Corsica Cola, Elsass Cola (from Alsace) and Chtila Cola from the north of France. Ask your barman if he stocks the local variety!

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