Of all the twists and turns of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, "Pepsi ignites international anger for shipping several metric buttloads of potatoes to Russia" was not among them:
PepsiCo has drawn criticism after signing a deal to export Scottish seed potatoes to Russia, amid the 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).
Okay, first of all, how exactly do you get from manufacturing a soft-drink beverage:
...to potato farming?
I mean, maybe I'm being hopelessly naive here. I guess I am. But am I the only one surprised to learn that Pepsi has its hands apparently very deep into the potato game?
Isn't that a bit of a shock to anyone else?
Anyway, far be it from me to tell a multinational cola company what to do, but—potatoes or not—$800,000 is really kind of a trivial amount for Pepsi. They made about $80 billion last year. This potato deal constitutes 0.001% of their 2021 revenue. It seems like they could've afforded to ditch it if they wanted.
Then again, they had a pretty admirable reason for holding on:
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.
Okay we'll allow that.
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