Pepsi to withdraw case against Gujarat farmers; rights activists hope firm has learnt a lesson
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Pepsi to withdraw case against Gujarat farmers; rights activists hope firm has learnt a lesson

By Businesstoday   03-May-2019

Pepsi to withdraw case against Gujarat farmers; rights activists hope firm has learnt a lesson

Succumbing to immense pressure from global and local civil society groups and an election wary BJP government of Gujarat, American snack food giant PepsiCo has announced its decision to withdraw its cases filed against the four potato farmers of Gujarat. In a statement attributed to the Company spokesperson, PepsiCo India said that "after discussions with the Government, the Company has agreed to withdraw cases against farmers" and they are relying on these discussions "to find a long term and an amicable resolution of all issues around seed protection" faced by the company.
PepsiCo had sought a penalty of Rs 1.05 crore from four Gujarat farmers after the company accused these farmers of growing, and selling without approval, a particular variety of potato developed by PepsiCo and given to farmers under a contractual buy back agreement. The company had also asked these farmers to either stop growing the variety, or join its supplier group by entering into a contract with the company.
The decision of PepsiCo to withdraw from the case has come well before May 12, the deadline that was given to the farmers by the court to decide if they would fight the case or agree to the company's settlement conditions. The details of the discussions with the government that led to the company's decision is not known.

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