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Economy Dec 5, 2012

McDonald's, Pepsi deny Sushma's allegations of importing key ingredients

After getting a bitter taste of India's realpolitik on Tuesday when BJP leader Sushma Swaraj accused several MNC's of importing ingredientens rather than sourcing locally, bothMcDonald's and PepsiCo have refuted her claims.

Fast food chain McDonald's on Tuesday disputed the remark of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, in Parliament that it does not buy local produce, saying all the ingredients used in its products in India are sourced from within the country.

"Before setting up its business in India, McDonald's had made a commitment to government on local sourcing of its entire raw material requirement. We confidently and proudly state that ingredients used in our products are sourced locally that includes the French Fries," McDonald's India (North and East) managing director Vikram Bakshi said in a statement.

Reuters

He was reacting to Swaraj's remark in Parliament during the debate on FDI in retail on Tuesday that even McDonald's was importing potatoes from abroad and not buying the produce locally.

We import only on rare occasions when local supplies run out," Bakshi said, adding that "McDonald's remains steadfast to its commitment of working with local suppliers and farmers to source all its requirements in India".

The company, along with its supplier McCain, has worked closely with farmers in India to produce process-grade potato varieties, he claimed.

"We continue to contribute in the growth of these farmers," Bakshi said, adding that when McDonald's began developing its business in India, potatoes with the right quality for 'French Fries' were not available.

PepsiCo too refuted claims made by Swaraj that it broke its promise to buy potatoes and tomatoes from farmers.In a press release, the company said all potatoes are procured from within India and in fact, they are the largest procurer of potatoes in the country.

Even Walmart came up several times during the debate on FDI A Trinamool Congress MP said the US retailer sources almost 82 percent of its merchandise out of China and its entry into India would only benefit its neighbour, while Swaraj said Walmart will gobble local small traders.

Agencies

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