(Q24N) A sugar shortage has forced Coca-Cola to stop producing soft drinks in Venezuela amid an escalating food and energy shortage.

Mexican multinational beverage company Coca-Cola Femsa (KOF)  said that suppliers in Venezuela will “temporarily cease operations due to a lack of raw materials”.

The announcement comes after the country’s biggest beer brewer, Empresas Polar, closed plants due to a barley shortage.

Venezuela’s economy has contracted sharply as oil prices plunge.

Despite this situation, the company, which employs over 7,000 people in Venezuela, does not expect to shut down operations in the country, Efe reported.

A Coca-Cola spokesperson said the company would continue producing sugarless drinks such as Coca-Cola Light (Diet Coke).

“We are engaging with suppliers, government authorities and our associates to take the necessary actions for a prompt solution,” she said.

Sugarcane production has been falling as the cost of production has risen and it has become more difficult to obtain foreign currency.

The economic problems have forced many consumers to queue for hours to buy basic foodstuffs.

Source El Universal

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