PepsiCo India has chosen Uttar Pradesh to set up its largest greenfield foods plant to manufacture potato chips. UP CM Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday (September 15) inaugurated the leading global food and beverage company’s largest greenfield foods plant worth Rs 814 crore in Kosi Kalan in Mathura.
It may be noted that the company had taken an exit route from Kerala due to labour issues with its in Kanjikode Palakkad in March last year. It was a carbonated soft drinks and packaged drinking water bottling plant operated by franchisee Varun Beverages.
The Mathura plant, according to the firm, will produce Lay’s potato chips and will be the company’s first ‘Make and Move’ factory. “The state-of-the-art plant aligns with the UP government’s industrialisation-led growth agenda,” the company’s press communiqué said. ‘Make and move’ factory means the products manufactured in the plant are sold directly to distributors from the plant, instead of dispatching them to a mother warehouse managed by a third party.
According to reports, the PepsiCo factory at Kosi Kalan, Mathura, spanning over 29 acres of land, would acquire 150,000 tonnes of locally grown potatoes for a total investment of Rs 814 crore, benefiting over 5,000 farmers and providing 1,500 direct and indirect job opportunities. The company stated that at least 30 per cent of their employees at the plant will be women.
The company has said that for a better supply chain, the company will also build a state-of-the-art cold storage warehouse in Uttar Pradesh. According to PepsiCo, the cold storage method would significantly extend the shelf life of potatoes.
Ahmed ElSheikh, President, PepsiCo India, said, “The launch of our new foods plant in Kosi Kalan, Mathura is in line with the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat. Commissioning of the foods plant marks PepsiCo’s single largest investment of Rs 814 crore in the country. The support of the UP government and the local administration has been instrumental in the commissioning of our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in less than two years. We are proud to strengthen our ’Unnati Ki Sajhedhari’ with the State of Uttar Pradesh.” ElSheikh added the facility was ready in less than two years, despite the pandemic.
Yogi Adityanath, who virtually presided over the inaugural ceremony from Lucknow, stated that the PepsiCo facility was an example of a state-private sector partnership for the benefit of farmers.
The state government framed the policies, while the private investor has taken it further by setting up the plant. This will ultimately benefit the state farmers and they will get lucrative prices for their farm produce,” he asserted.
“UP is the country’s top food grain producer and it has abundant water resources. The state has the largest consumer market of 240 million people with a favourable investment climate,” he CM said, advising PepsiCo to help farmers with advanced potato seeds for mutual benefits.
PepsiCo India exits Kerala over labour protest
PepsiCo India unit located at Kanjikode Palakkad, Kerala, operated by franchisee Varun Beverages Ltd, had been in a lockout from March 22, 2021, over various labour protests. “M/s Varun Beverages Ltd manufacturing carbonated soft drinks and packaged drinking water, is intended to be closed down under section 25-O of the Industrial dispute Act 1947 (Act 14 of 1947) and necessary application is filed to the Government, of Kerala on 22.09.2020 stating clearly the reasons for the intended closure,” the closure notice, dated September 22, stated.