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[NEW YORK] The Coca-Cola Company said Monday that it was forced to cut back production of its popular sodas in Venezuela due to the shortage of sugar in the politically riven country.
Spokeswoman Kerry Tressler said the US company's sugar suppliers "have informed us that they will temporarily cease operations due to a lack of raw materials." That will impact the production of sugar-sweetened beverages like its mainstay Coca-Cola, Hit, Frescolita and Chinotto.
But Ms Tressler said the company would continue to produce its zero-sugar drinks like Coca-Cola Light and bottled water.
"We are engaging with suppliers, government authorities and our associates to take the necessary actions for a prompt solution," she said in a statement.
Venezuela's economy has been dragged down by shortages of many key products, both food and non-food, as the embattled government of President Nicolas Maduro reserves foreign currency to service its debt and struggles with recession and hyperinflation.
A number of foreign firms have been forced to halt or slow production due to shortages and the general economic turmoil, including Kraft Heinz, Clorox, and beer maker Empresas Polar.