[WSMDiscuss] Fwd: [vikalp-sangam-list] Join #BoycottPepsi Twitter Axn-20/4/2019, 4pm to 7pm-B'cos Pepsi went & sued, and got injunction against 4 farmers alleging IPR infringement on a potato variety

Ashish Kothari chikikothari at gmail.com
Sat Apr 20 08:29:04 CEST 2019

Friends, pl. see the request below. Do pl. join if you can, from across the

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Kavitha Kuruganti <kavitakuruganti at gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Apr 20, 2019 at 11:46 AM
Subject: [vikalp-sangam-list] Join #BoycottPepsi Twitter Axn-20/4/2019, 4pm
to 7pm-B'cos Pepsi went & sued, and got injunction against 4 farmers
alleging IPR infringement on a potato variety
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Please join a Twitter Action this evening between 4pm and 7pm in large
numbers, with a common hashtag of #BoycottPepsi. This is against the
backdrop of Pepsi India suing farmers on the grounds that their IPR on a
potato variety has been infringed upon by these farmers, despite the fact
that the Indian law on the subject clearly protects farmers' rights. Even
otherwise, we cannot allow farmers' seed sovereignty to be taken away by
these corporations or others. Pepsi, which has a turnover of more than 4000
crore rupees annually apprx. is presenting an estimated damage of more than
one crore rupees against each of these farmers (who on an average have
around 3 acres of land) from this so-called infringement!

Here is a Tweetsheet which gives you a background on this, which presents
some instructions around the twitter storm and also has some sample tweets
which you are requested to modify and tweet. We will need dedicated time
from you to tweet continuously so that Pepsi and all other corporations
realise that the seed sovereignty of farmers will not be compromised upon
and that citizens will support farmers in this fight.


Compulsory Hashtag (on each & every tweet): #BoycottPepsi

Which date?: 20th April 2019 (Saturday)

Time window: 4.00pm to 7.00pm (or slightly longer too)

Our messages to be directed at (main tagging): @PepsiIndia



Pepsi, which profiteers by aggressively selling foods that cannot be
classified as healthy, has now gone and sued 4 farmers in Gujarat - who
between them own just 12 acres of land, while Pepsi is claiming damages
that are estimated at more than 4 crores of rupees! - , on a claim that
these farmers have infringed on its IPR (Intellectual Property Right) in
the form of a potato variety that it had registered in its name, claiming
that such a variety emerged out of its R&D efforts and that it has an
exclusive right on this potato which is known as FC-5, and registered with
the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority (PPVFRA)
under the name of FL-2027 which is a potato hybrid with distinct



Don’t miss all the sweet-talk that Pepsi puts out
<http://www.pepsicoindia.co.in/live/story/partnership-with-farmers> about
partnerships with Indian farmers, even as it does not hesitate to sue each
of the Gujarat farmers for more one than one crore rupees damages!

What is more or worse, the Commercial Court in Ahmedabad where Pepsi India
Holdings lodged its complaint has issued injunction orders against the
farmers, asking them not to grow or sell the said potato till its next
hearing on the 26th of April. It appears that this is not the first time
that Pepsi is doing this to farmers.

This is a clear challenge to our farmers’ seed sovereignty - their right
and ability to grow and sell any seed that they want to and can. This is a
clear case of an IPR being used to challenge farmers’ rights with regard to
seed/planting material.

Importantly, what Pepsi is ignoring is a very crucial clause in the Indian
statute around seed varieties (Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers
Rights Act 2001
<https://indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/1909/1/200153.pdf>) which is
Sec. 39 (1) (iv) which says that “39. Farmers’ rights.—(1) Notwithstanding
anything contained in this Act,— (iv) a farmer shall be deemed to be
entitled to save, use, sow resow, exchange, share or sell his farm produce
including seed of a variety protected under this Act in the same manner as
he was entitled before the coming into force of this Act: Provided that the
farmer shall not be entitled to sell branded seed of a variety protected
under this Act.”

As one of the world’s largest food/snack/beverage companies, Pepsi had been
controversial in the past for the usage of sweeteners like aspartame, and
about the fact that its food products don’t necessarily contribute to
healthy eating. The large water-print of this water-guzzling company has
been questioned by activists and citizens alike, though Pepsi claims that
it has a positive water balance in India.

PepsiCo has been part of controversies elsewhere too - for having used
aborted baby cells for developing flavour enhancers, in 2011 for instance;
for insensitive advertisements, for example, including related to suicides;
or for its palm oil sourcing policy which falls short of desirable
standards as per some activists; for the fact that its supply chains were
violating land rights and that its suppliers were displacing legitimate
landowners in countries like Brazil.



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Ashish Kothari
Apt 5 Shree Datta Krupa, 908 Deccan Gymkhana
Pune 411004, India
Tel: 91-20-25675450
Tel/fax: 91-20-25654239
Email: chikikothari at gmail.com
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