Monday, February 13, 2006
Colombian farmers launch Coke rivals
By Mike Ceaser
In Nasa Indian territory, Colombia
The Fernandez family has found new markets for the coca leaves, the main ingredient used to make cocaine, which are piled up in front of their home in the mountains of western Colombia.
But the project ought to worry Coke, Pepsi and Seagram's more than drug enforcement officials.
The leaves are destined to become ingredients in coca-flavoured wine, soft drinks, tea and cookies.
"The idea is to give [the coca leaf] a new image," says Jairo Pardo Fernandez, who with his six brothers and sisters tends the family's 60 coca bushes.
"People have always looked at coca as something bad, but it also has its good uses."