PepsiCo India is willing to settle a lawsuit with four Indian farmers after the lawsuit backfired on it. The company sued the farmers for growing potatoes it had patented to produce Lays and related products.
The lawyer representing the farmers reportedly stated that he needed time to discuss the settlement offer with the farmers.
PepsiCo India Is Not the First to Challenge Local Businesses
Ever Since India revised its financial and economic policies governing e-commerce or international business, multi-national companies like Amazon and now PepsiCo India are facing problems. The New E-commerce rules have also presented challenges for Amazon India. The revision of the laws came when local business owners complained about the market monopolization by such companies.
PepsiCo India sued the farmers of 10 million rupees each for breach of patency laws earlier this month, but now the company is being forced into a settlement agreement when the lawsuit filed backfired on it after the four farmers belonging to west Gujarat, an agricultural hub of India, launched a complaint with the help of social activists.
The company in a press release stated that it was offering settlement with the farmers who unlawfully used seeds of its patent Variety. The company further stated that if the farmers join its potato farming program all charges will be dropped
The farmer’s lawyer has asked for time to discuss the offer with the farmers. The next hearing will be on the 12th of June.
Pepsico Looking to Expand Its Production
The Indian subsidiary of the company is looking to double and expand its potato production capacity over the next few years to meet future market demands. The company is already the largest processed grade potato buyer in the country and has the largest potato farming collaborative programs employing more than half of all potato buyers.
The Farmers Reaction to the Law Suit
One of the farmers while talking to the media expressed great anger over the situation. He stated that his family had been farming potato’s for generation and has never faced such a problem before. They always used the seed that they had stored from last year’s harvest to cultivate the crops for the next year.
He continued to say that he and his fellow farmers have launched a complaint against the company and demand that the court take adequate action to ensure the rights of farmers everywhere in India.