SOURCE: Zahra Tayeb | Business Insider
PepsiCo has drawn criticism after signing a deal to export Scottish seed potatoes to Russia, amid its invasion of Ukraine.
The Times of London reported that the deal with Aberdeen-based seed potato growers, Saltire Seed, came with the approval of the Scottish government. A government spokesperson denied this and told The Times that it did not approve export deals.
According to the outlet, 2,000 tonnes of seed potatoes will be sent to Russia in coming days. The deal is estimated to be worth around $800,000 (£600,000).
One trader told The Times that the deal was immoral given Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine, which has affected the lives of many Ukrainians. “Don’t they understand the offence they’re causing?” he said. “I hope public opinion will force them to reconsider,” he said.
PepsiCo did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside of normal working hours.
The deal comes at a time when several major corporations have cut trade ties with Russia in recent weeks. PepsiCo recently announced it had suspended select beverage sales, capital investments, and all advertising in Russia.
According to a statement to The Times, however, PepsiCo’s CEO Ramon Laguarta said it would continue selling “other products in Russia, including daily essentials such as milk and other dairy offerings, baby formula and baby food.”
A PepsiCo spokesperson told the outlet that as a food and beverage company, it “must stay true to the humanitarian aspect” of the business. “We are continuing to support the livelihoods of the 40,000 Russian agricultural workers in our supply chain as they face significant challenges and uncertainty ahead,” they said.
Per The Times, Iryna Terlecky, head of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, also took a jab at the Scottish government over the deal and questioned its morality.
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