…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

CNN reports that “PepsiCo has backed down from a controversial fight with Indian farmers it accused of illegally growing its registered potatoes. The company is withdrawing a lawsuit it filed last month against four small Indian farmers for growing a potato variety it had registered for exclusive use in Lays potato chips.:

The story points out that “the lawsuit thrust the giant American food and beverage company into a debate about the rights of India's hundreds of millions of farmers — a political base vital to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hopes of winning a second term in national elections over the next three weeks.

“Declining rural incomes have prompted mass protests by farmers, and some have been driven to suicide in desperation at their poverty. As part of his election campaign, Modi has promised to double their incomes by 2022 and provide pensions to small farmers over the age of 60.”

In “Henry IV, Part One,” William Shakespeare writes that “the better part of valour is discretion.” In this case, PepsiCo really didn’t have a choice. It was back down, or be painted as an ugly American company, with all the backlash that this likely would create.


• On Long Island, New York,Newsday reports that “discount grocer Lidl’s takeover of the 24 Best Market stores on Long Island will start with the closing of one supermarket, remodeling of two stores and opening of two new locations by early 2020 … The U.S. arm of Germany-based Lidl finalized its purchase of 27 stores, including all 24 on Long Island, that were owned by Bethpage-based Best Market in January for an undisclosed price … The Best Market stores not on Long Island are in Harlem in Manhattan; Astoria, Queens; Holmdel, New Jersey; and Newington, Connecticut.”

The story quotes MNB fave Burt Flickinger III of Strategic Resource Group as saying that this is likely to be “an ongoing competitive nightmare for every food retailer on Long Island.” Who am I to disagree with Burt Flickinger?