Tomato Price Rise: Suniel Shetty Apologises for His Statement

The tomato shortage and subsequent skyrocketing prices are all over the headlines with everyone from local vendors to international fast food chains feeling the pinch. Even Bollywood celebs have weighed in on the issue and last week actor Suniel Shetty spoke about how the rising prices have affected his daily life in an interview with Aaj Tak. 

His words however sparked conversation on social media and he has since received negative pushback from farmers for his words. In the original interview he mentions that he and his wife Mana prefer to eat fresh and only buy two days worth of vegetables at a time and that since the price surge, they’ve started buying their groceries online. “If you look at the prices on these apps, you’ll be shocked.” he said, “They’re cheaper than all shops and markets. I order from the app, but not because it’s cheaper, but because they sell fresh produce. They even tell you where the vegetables were grown, and farmers get direct benefits…”

He has since expressed his apologies for this and insisted that his words were taken out of context and people have taken it to mean that he doesn't believe local farmers are selling the freshest goods. He said he was hurt by the insinuation that he doesn’t support local businesses and brought out his own restaurant connection as proof of his remorse. "I genuinely support our farmers. I can't even think of having a negative perception of them. I have always worked with their support. I want us to promote our desi products. I want our farmers to always benefit from it. The farmers are an important part of my life.” he said, “As a hotelier, my connections with them have always been direct. If any of my statements, which I haven't even said, have hurt them, I genuinely apologize. I can't even think of speaking against them, even in my dreams. Please don't misquote my statement. I can't say anything more on this matter."

Shetty has long been in the restaurant business and is currently the owner of H2O Liquid Lounge in Mumbai. He’s also a home gardener and grows many edible plants at his own farmhouse in Khandala.