Jan 15, 2022
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Authorities and merchants pulled off another “trick on the shelves”

Authorities and merchants pulled off another

Photo: Sergey Savostyanov / TASS

The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia seems to have agreed with the hucksters to limit the margin on the so-called “socially significant products.” The hucksters assured the officials that they would not “cheat” more than 10%, but they cannot be trusted. Both those and others – there is another fiction.

“At the suggestion of the FAS Russia, retailers agreed to limit their markups on products. The department’s initiative is aimed at reducing the cost and increasing the availability of socially significant goods,” the FAS said in an official statement.

“The list of certain types of socially significant essential food products for which maximum permissible retail prices can be set” appeared long ago, it was approved by government decree No. 530 of July 15, 2010.

However, the document is more than declarative. First of all, in terms of assortment. The same beef and pork “except for boneless meat” has long been present on the shelves in extremely limited quantities, mostly they sell bones separately, separately – tenderloin. Same for fish and chickens.

Not everything is clear and with such seemingly simple items as cereals, flour, pasta and tea. Yes, and bread too! Nowhere is it written what quality these goods should be, what they are made of. So, before this New Year, the economist Mikhail Khazin I even found it difficult to estimate the increase in the cost of bakery products in Russia due to a sharp drop in their quality!

“The 1985 Baking Flour Standard specified that only Grade 1-3 wheat be used for baking flour. Now, accompanied by songs about a record grain harvest and abundance, it has been decided that any grain can be sent to bakers. And as exports flourish, they are left with only low-quality grain. As a result, we lost quality, ”an employee of the Research Institute of the Baking Industry warned five years ago. Nikolai Chubenko.

High-quality products are exported from the country, and fodder grain and frank ersatz are fed to the population. According to last year’s polls by the Uralinformburo, 72% of respondents note a sharp deterioration in the quality of food products. Worst of all is dairy products and cheese – 59% and 55% of Russians say this. For meat, 41% are dissatisfied, for bakery products – 36%, for fruits – 33%, for fish – 29%.

There are no state standards, therefore no one can forbid traders to feed the population with frank surrogates. There are no legal restrictions. But what can I say – even for fatal poisoning with counterfeit alcohol, no one was hurt. People continue to die, most of these cases are kept secret by the authorities, but news of such tragedies still appear in the media with due regularity.

But most of all they poison not with methanol, but with food surrogates. Thus, according to Rosstat, in January-September 2021, imports of palm oil and its fractions to Russia increased by 7.1% to 803,000 tons. In other words, over the past year, we were fed more than a million tons of deadly ersatz instead of natural butter, milk and other quality products! For those of you who don’t know, palm oil contains the carcinogen glycedol.

“On the one hand, retail chains provide consumers with relatively cheap products. On the other hand, these companies force manufacturers to produce and supply goods at the lowest price, declaring to suppliers a purchase price at which it is almost impossible to produce standard products, ”explains the head of the Voronezh regional consumer rights movement“ The Quality of Our Life ” Nikolai Degtyarev.

So, the assurances of the FAS that retailers will be engaged in “development of responsible pricing mechanisms” should be laughed at. If only everything was so fun. Even though it’s really scary…

“Ensure their availability in retail facilities in sufficient volume” – this is again about the Federal Antimonopoly Service, traders and these very “socially significant products”. Another reason for bitter laughter.

Weekday morning, a large store of a well-known European retail chain, the container with the so-called “people’s loaves” is empty. Few people take these terrible products, which will soon be able to compete with the bread of besieged Leningrad. But the poorest still buy it. Grannies take this loaf and next to it on the shelf is a package of ersatz milk. That’s it, Putin’s pension is not enough for more.

“Probably already over. Yes, you are right, somehow quickly, I will find out now (calling someone). Indeed, today they haven’t brought it yet, probably, it will only be in the evening. Take other loaves, they are much better, these are generally impossible to eat, ”explains the manager of the trading floor who was caught.

The situation is similar for “socially significant” sunflower oil and other goods, there is not even “simple” salt. There is an expensive one, not at all “social”. Many products have no price tags or they shamelessly lie. And this – already in all, without exception, “chain” stores, the process of deceiving customers has been put on stream.

Moreover, those same declared “contractual” trade margins are, in fact, more than extensible. As well-known rubber products.

“We want to buy this product from one supplier or another. It is more convenient for us to work with him. Logistics, and so on. We have the right! And the fact that this is a “friendly” structure that acts as an intermediary and winds up its interest – go prove it! Two tasks are solved at once: both the profit is normal, and it is not tied to our structure, ”said an employee of the central office of a large retailer on condition of anonymity.

Thus, we can say with 100% certainty that the statements of the FAS are nothing more than another Edrosov fiction. Do not assume that officials are fools or not aware of what is happening in trade. They know everything very well, moreover, in a share.

The result of “regulation” will be an even greater drop in the quality of goods and the growth of “hidden” margins. And the presence of “social” products on the shelves is not limited in any way, there are no such requirements. For example, that so many percent of the trade turnover should be accounted for by these goods. And it will not be possible to control it with the current thieves’ economic model, this is basically impossible. The controllers themselves are thieves, what can I say …

Another scandal in the Ministry of Internal Affairs – the head of the police departments for combating corruption of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region himself turned out to be a “corrupt official”. But they didn’t put him in jail, they simply dismissed him, calmly spend the funds obtained illegally. What can be said in such a situation?

“Rospotrebnadzor selects products for research mainly at the manufacturer’s warehouse. The date of the inspection is announced in advance,” says Nikolai Degtyarev.

Not even funny. Why counterfeit and ersatz are our “bright” future. Only a radical change in the economic paradigm can change the situation. Yes, political too.

The “product problem” in Russia can be solved simply, with two strokes of a pen. It is only necessary to ban the export of agricultural products from the country and ban the import of raw materials for the production of ersatz. The same palm oil and all sorts of “chemistry”. Producers put in harsh conditions, and traders too, will have to fight for the buyer. Both in price and quality.

“In order to reduce the price of any product, it is necessary to create fierce competition in the commodity distribution chain,” believes Managing Partner of Management Development Group Dmitry Potapenko. Everything is just like that!

However, it is only theoretically possible to talk about something like this so far. There is not even a hint that the authorities will begin to think in this direction. Non-binding populist statements, according to edrosov, should reassure the people. That’s just the degree of discontent continues to grow, and what it will result in is completely incomprehensible.

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