PepsiCo’s i-crop system could save farmers precious water
I-crop, a web-based program now undergoing tests, helps farmers reduce water waste by combining weather data and underground probes.
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Ever enjoyed Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Lay's, Gatorade, Tropicana, 7Up, Doritos, Lipton Teas, Quaker Oats, Cheetos, Ruffles, Aquafina, Tostitos, Sierra Mist, or Fritos? If the i-crop can deliver as hoped, those products will soon be made with less water waste than most competitive grocery items (and who doesn’t want something positive to hold onto after downing a bag of Cheetos?).Skip to next paragraph
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Although the i-crop is only accessible to UK farmers, PepsiCo hopes to introduce its technology to farms in India, China, Mexico, and Australia by 2012. However, speculation about i-crop’s availability has raised some eyebrows and provoked the question: Will the i-crop technology, owned privately by PepsiCo, be withheld from those who most need it?
Brain Pickings editor Maria Popova argues that owning such coveted technological rights will put PepsiCo in the middle of an often tense relationship between profiteering and humanitarianism.
“The technology is currently only available to PepsiCo-affiliated growers, which raises interesting questions about the relationship between corporate interests and social good in innovation, as well as bespeaking the disconnect between the value of open-source software and the fact that the best-funded research initiatives, most competent scientists, and highest-grade technology tend to be subsidized by private corporations.”
If, how, and with whom PepsiCo shares i-crop technology has yet to be determined. In any case, PepsiCo has taken corporate social responsibility by the horns, hopefully luring other influential corporations to recognize that being green is achievable.
"Every Generation Refreshes the World," Pespi ads claim. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that PepsiCo can do so for the next generation’s water supply.
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