PepsiCo claims to be the largest procurer of potato in India

PepsiCo claims to be the largest procurer of potato in IndiaMcDonald's and PepsiCo have rebutted BJP senior leader Sushma Swaraj's allegation that these multinational fast-food giants do not source even basic commodities from within India.

Opposing the Congress-led UPA's government economic reforms programme, which includes opening on multi-brand retail sector to foreign investors, Swaraj said that government was wrong in claiming that foreign retailers like Wal-Mart would source at least 30 per cent of their items from within India.

She alleged that McDonald's never purchased potatoes from Indian farmers. She added that Pepsi had promised to purchase potatoes and tomatoes from farmers in Punjab, but it later guzzled it promise.

Both McDonald's and Pepsi refuted Swaraj's allegation saying they import raw materials only on rare occasions - only when they are not available locally.

Defending the company's operation against Swaraj's allegation, PepsiCo India, the leading snacks maker in India, claimed it sources its entire potato necessity from within the country.

Refuting the allegation, a PepsiCo spokesperson said, "We are the largest procurer of potato in India and procured 240,000 MT of potato from Indian farmers in 2012, which is more than double of what we procured five years ago."

The spokesperson added that PepsiCo purchase potatoes from more than 24,000 farmers in nine states, including Punjab, Bihar, UP and West Bengal.