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Britvic draws online ire from Diabetes UK tie-up

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Britvic has teamed up with a diabetes charity in the UK, prompting several complaints in the country.

Britvic will support Diabetes UK for the next three years

Britvic will support Diabetes UK for the next three years

The UK-based soft drinks producer said late last week that the GBP500,000 (US$640,000) deal with Diabetes UK will run for three years. The activation includes helping Britvic employees reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes as well as supporting children with Type 1 diabetes.

"There are an estimated 4.6m people living with diabetes in the UK today," said Britvic chief executive Simon Litherland. "By working in partnership with Diabetes UK and helping to raise funds, we can support Diabetes UK's vital work to help those living with diabetes and support our own employees to know their risk."

The tie-up has met with criticism in the UK press and on social media, with some calling the deal "a conflict of interest".

Diabetes UK issued a statement in response to the backlash: "Any partnership we enter into - including with the food and drink industry - only happens if we truly believe it will bring about positive change, and we firmly believe our partnership with Britvic will do just that," said the charity's chief executive, Chris Askew. "Every Diabetes UK partnership is subject to rigorous scrutiny, to ensure the partner organisations we work with share our ambitions.

"We cannot tackle the diabetes crisis in isolation; we recognise that partnerships - and the opportunities they present both to influence industry, and to enable, expand, and amplify our work – are one of the key ways for us to make change happen more quickly and, ultimately, help us make our vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm a reality."

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