PepsiCo is suing four small farmers in India for growing a type of potato exclusively reserved for its Lays potato chips, reports CNN. The global food giant is demanding each farmer (whose farms are only a few acres) pay 10 million rupees ($143,000). Pepsi told the farmers it would drop the suit if they either stop growing the potatoes or agree to become assimilated.
"That was a discussion that happened in the court today," a PepsiCo spokesperson told CNN. "We told them, why don't you join our program and we will provide seeds … Either join us or grow other potatoes. That way, we are willing to let go of the case."
Farmers' associations and activists in India called on the Indian government to step in and take action against PepsiCo. In a letter to the government published earlier this week and shared with CNN Business, they said the farmers' rights to grow and sell registered crops are protected under India's agricultural laws.