hide message

Welcome to the Resource Centre

We make it our mission to work with advocates in civil society, business and government to address inequalities of power, seek remedy for abuse, and ensure protection of people and planet.

Both companies and impacted communities thank us for the resources and support we provide.

This is only possible because of your support. Please make a donation today.

Thank you,
Phil Bloomer, Executive Director

Donate now hide message

You are being redirected to the story the piece of content is found in so you can read it in context. Please click the following link if you are not automatically redirected within a couple seconds:

India: It’s a hot potato for PepsiCo and farmers

Author: DownToEarth, India, Published on: 20 May 2019

"It’s a hot potato for PepsiCo and farmers", 29 April, 2019

 PepsiCo sued potato farmers in Gujarat for Rs 1.05 crore each over patent infringement. The corporate giant has claimed that the farmers are cultivating their proprietary FC5 potatoes without permission. 

This variety of potatoes is designed to be low in moisture and sugar content compared to other spuds, and is used for making the trademark product: Lay’s. It’s a huge amount for the accused farmers, who all have small farms in the state.

 …Farmer groups have approached the agriculture and farmer welfare ministry…to put out a public statement upholding farmers’ rights under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Act, 2001, and to direct PepsiCo India Holdings to withdraw the cases. 

 The Farmers Rights Act 2001 allows farmers to save, use, sow, exchange or sell farm produce as long as they do not sell branded seed. All India Farmers’ Forum (AIFF) is also backing the farmers on the issue, and said that Indian agricultural laws protect the farmers’ rights to grow and sell registered crops.

 AIFF…have also called for a nationwide boycott of all Lay’s products.

…Facing boycott calls, PepsiCo has offered to settle the case on any of these terms: The farmers should stop growing the registered potato variety and surrender their existing stocks or enter PepsiCo’s collaborative farming programme where farmers buy seeds from the company and sell the produce back to it.  

The farmers’ counsel has asked for time to consider Pepsi’s offer, and the parties are expected to return to court on June 12. 


Read the full post here

Related companies: Frito-Lay (part of PepsiCo) Pepsico India