PepsiCo Withdraws Lawsuit, But Gujarat’s Potato Farmers Now Demand Harassment Compensation

The battle between the potato farmers and PepsiCo is not quite over. In fact, it has taken quite the turn!

After the multi-billion dollar company sued four farmers for 1.05 Crores each in Gujarat for growing a variety of potatoes used for making Lays chips, it received a huge backlash from citizens and political parties of the country.

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PepsiCo claimed that the said variety FL-2027, popularly known as FC5, was exclusively registered under their name, making the act of the farmers illegal.

Over 190 activists had stepped forward in support of the farmers and social media was filled with posts suggesting an overall ban on PepsiCo products in the country.

Facing a lot of controversy for their move, PepsiCo was compelled to withdraw the case.

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According to sources, the Indian arm of PepsiCo has agreed to withdraw cases against farmers after discussions with the government. A company spokesperson issued a statement saying, “We are relying on the said discussions to find a longterm and amicable resolution of issues around seed protection.”

But now, the sued potato farmers are calling for an “unconditional withdrawal” of the legal case and are demanding compensation from the company for the harassment caused to them because of the lawsuit.

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Reports revealed that with the support of farmer’s activists and organisations, they have not only sought compensation but also a boycott of PepsiCo’s products.

“PepsiCo should withdraw the cases unconditionally. The also company has to pay us compensation for all the harassment we were put through even though the law is clear on the subject,” said Bipin Patel, one of the sued farmers.

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Now that’s quite an interesting turn of events!

Cover image: Source

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