According to a report published in The Week magazine, leading farmer unions and rights advocacy groups have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat in India.
The Indian subsidiary of the US multinational company, PepsiCo India Holdings (PIH) Pvt Ltd, has filed cases of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) infringement through 2018-19 against farmers for allegedly using potato variety FL 2027/FCS without permission.
At a press conference in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, Kapil Shah of Vadodara-based organisation Jatan, demanded that the Central and state governments step in to protect farmers’ rights as enshrined in the laws of the country, particularly the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001.
PepsiCo uses this variety of potatoes in its popular brand Lays. The company has said that the registration of a potato variety denominated as FL-2027, also known by the trade name of FC-5, in India’s Plant Varieties Registry in February 2016, entitles it to an exclusive right over the registered variety.