CITU CALLS FOR BOYCOTTING THE POTATO PRODUCTS OF PEPSICO INCLUDING “LAYS”  IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE STRUGGLES OF THE POTATO FARMERS OF GUJARAT AT THE CALL OF ALL INDIA KISAN SABHA

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions expresses its solidarity to call given by All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) to boycott of Lays and other potato products of PepsiCo till the vindictive cases against potato farmers of Gujarat are withdrawn.

The PepsiCo filed a case in Ahmedabad High Court against some small potato farmers of Gujarat alleging cultivation of a particular variety of potato which the MNC considers prejudicial to their interest and lodged a claim of Rs 1.05 crore to be paid by those concerned farmers for such cultivation. The case by PepsiCo is an arrogant violation of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001 which clearly mention the right of the farmers to "save, use, sow, re-sow, exchange, share or sell his farm produce including seed of a variety" so long as he does not sell branded seed, as argued by AIKS.

The AIKS has already asserted in its statement dated 25th April 2019 that “AlKS along with other peasant organisations has already approached Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FRA) asking for urgent intervention. This is a test case of the corporate exploitation of farmers under the WTO regime. Previous central governments led by both Congress(I) and BJP are responsible for completely surrendering the rights of the peasantry and the nation in favour of corporates. Both the parties must clarify their stand in this case.”

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions while joining wholeheartedly the farmers’ organizations including AIKS in denouncing the vindictive action of the Multinational Corporations like PepsiCo in abrogating the farmers’ right to produce and choose to produce in an independent country in patent abuse of the so called WTO rules and the shameful lukewarm and indulgent attitude of the Modi Govt towards the MNCs exploiting the Indian Farmers, calls upon the working class to firmly stand by farmers demands in solidarity.

CITU upholds the AIKS call to people for boycotting the “Lay” potato chips and other potato products of PepsiCo in this matter and calls upon the working class and their trade unions to actively organize such boycott throughout the country in coordination and collaboration with AIKS activists till the central govt intervenes and compels the PepsiCo to withdraw the case against the potato farmers of Gujarat.   

Issued by
( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

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