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PepsiCo ‘Unconditionally’ Withdraws All Cases against Gujarat Potato Farmers

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

PepsiCo India ‘unconditionally’ withdrew all its cases against potato growers of Gujarat for alleged violation of rights over a particular variety of the tuber on 10th May 2019.

The farmers who were involved said they have asked for a token Rs 1 compensation from the Indian division of the US food & beverages giant, PepsiCo for defamation and for being wrongly dragged into a lawsuit alleging illicit use of a registered potato variety.

Advocate Anand Yagnik, representing the cultivators said herewith, PepsiCo’s several cases against 11 farmers of Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Aravalli and Deesa  for alleged use of its registered variety “stand withdrawn unconditionally".

On the other hand, PepsiCo said, “After deliberations with the government, the company has decided to withdraw cases against the farmers. We are relying on the said discussions to find an enduring and agreeable resolution of all issues around the seed protection. The firm remains deeply dedicated to the thousands of growers we work with across the nation and towards ensuring adoption of best farming practices.”

The firm said its submission in court last week is in sync with its publicly affirmed position that “PepsiCo has been in India for thirty years. Over the years, the company has build up a best-in-class collaborative potato farming programme that has benefited thousands of farmers.

The programme... has resulted in cultivators getting access to higher yields, improved quality, training in best-in-class practices & enhanced prices, all leading to better livelihoods. In order to protect the larger interest of farmers, PepsiCo India was forced to take judicial recourse to safeguard its registered variety. PepsiCo, from the very beginning, had offered an amicable settlement to farmers."

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