Business Corporation Roshen is going through hard times. Ukrainians began to buy less products of this brand for economic reasons, and Russians for political reasons. Thanks to journalists and politicians, the image of “bloody sweets” has consolidated in Roshen products in Russia, the proceeds of which go straight to killing peaceful residents of Donbass. As a result, the Lipetsk confectionery factory, owned by Petro Poroshenko, is already the third week, and its leadership only manages to fend off lawsuits and public raids. Two weeks ago, the author of this text also did not buy Roshen candies for patriotic reasons. Now, for the same reasons, he decided to buy them.
On the street Dovator flies late autumn bee. The landscape is dusty and gray - neither a flower nor a leaf. The bee knows where it flies. She makes a sharp turn over the fence with barbed wire, over the empty factory yard and lands on a rack with trays for the finished product, which is now rolled into the pastry shop. But air curtains with a powerful stream of warm air are blocking the bee's path, and the rack is rolled into the workshop without it. She flies over to the next in the hope that this time a ride. To no avail. One more attempt. Still. The bee is noticed by men in blue overalls and they begin to laugh.
- Here is a fool! There are insecticidal lamps inside. Even if you leak - in five minutes you are cranked. I would fly about fifteen years ago, then it was easier there.
Inside is not only a lamp for the destruction of insects. In stock skyscrapers unclaimed corrugated packaging, reels wrappers two kilometers each. And in the pastry shop itself the perfect creaky cleanliness, Hebenstreit’s production equipment sparkles with nickel there.
“Sukrolainer, extruder, kegelroller, egolizer,” shop manager Angela Kartseva introduces me to her German subordinates and immediately goes to the “Slavs”, - the cooking section, the heat chamber, but this section of the conveyor is called strada.
- Why is it suffering?
- I do not know. Someone once thought up. And what a beautiful.
In the Russian and Ukrainian leadership of the corporation Roshen, graduates of the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys are in charge. Not surprising: the production of steel and caramel technologically differs only in scale and fine details. Instead of ore, sugar, water and molasses are the main ingredients of any candy. The mass melted to 136 degrees is supplied by the reservoir to the conveyor, cooled, mined, rolled into a bundle, formed into a loaf, bubbles are extruded from it, stuffing is pumped, and then stamping, cooling chamber, wrapping. All this at rabid speeds. For example, ready-made Lolli pops caramel (an analogue of Chupa Chups) shoots at the finish line at a speed of 1500 pieces per minute. And the jelly "Mad Bee" is so mad that it wraps itself in a candy wrapper in one tenth of a second.
“When you enter a working shop, the feeling is like you hit a children's amusement park,” Angela just had phlegm herself, but then her eyes suddenly lit up. “It’s as if thousands of little animals ride on extreme merry-go-rounds, there is Cream-Lenivka over there, Milk Droplets and Glass Mix Mix behind them, and here’s Kamikaze,” Angela glances around the dead production lines and again plunges into nirvanic phlegm .
“In the summer park, winter, in the summer park a concert. Everything will start shortly, it is a pity that there are no spectators ”.
It turns out that these are the wrong bees!
“Shalena bdzhilka” is really exceptionally tasty. Flies into the mouth, one after another, and instantly turns into a natural juice with a slight sourness. My patriotic stomach desperately resists: "Candy on blood, candy on blood, candy on blood!" But on the wrapper muzzle of the insect is not at all aggressive, but rather pribabahnuyu: eyes in a heap, mouth on its side. So usually those who himself became the victim of some kind of madness. For example, the general director of the factory Taisiya Voronin. For almost a year now, she has been living on a volcano, the eruption of which is not going to end.
“Maidan has come down to us in winter,” says Taisia Kirillovna. - Inspections went one by one: Rospotrebnadzor, Rostekhnadzor, Labor Inspection, firefighters, tax. In private conversations, the inspectors honestly admit: people came from a deep drilling office, they were told to work you out in full, to dig at least something, so excuse me. In general, it is surprising how many decent people turned out to be auditors.
- Well, how - dug a lot?
- And what we dig up. The accounting is transparent, the equipment is all new, the raw materials are natural. So, carped over trifles, the task after all was just to paralyze the work. Tax won still sits, from December already. But the most unpleasant began in the summer. People have seen enough of TV, pickets, articles in newspapers, a wave on the Internet began against our products all over the country. We have a small stall near the entrance with sweets - it’s not even ours, we just rent it out. Some people began to come, to get a saleswoman: you are so ssy, cast bullets for the Ukrainian military, all of you should be put in prison. It got to the point that trucks with the Roshen logo began to throw stones. In Stavropol a month ago, the driver was severely beaten. And Dagestanis saved him, repulsed the attackers. I take this opportunity to thank them.
“As a result, sales volumes began to fall sharply,” continues first deputy general director Oleg Kazakov. - If last summer we made 10-12 thousand tons per month, now we have dropped to 6-8 thousand. They hoped that the growth will continue again in the fall, now wholesalers are already buying for the new year, but no - there is no increase. So on September 15 we were forced to stop production, most of the people were sent on paid holidays.
Both Oleg and Taisiya Kirillovna are sure: pickets by pickets, and the specific dose of patriotic passions in the general fall in demand for their products is minimal. Representatives of retail chains in private conversations admit: purchasing Poroshenkov sweets under an unofficial ban, the heads of local administrations twist their hands.
- And who is twisting their hands? - I am interested in Kazakov.
- We can only guess. But I can well imagine that no one unscrews. It is just that some governors are running ahead of the locomotive, while others sincerely believe that in this way they are defending the interests of Russia. Although it is difficult to imagine a more domestic manufacturer than our factory.
Absolutely, absolutely wrong bees!
3 March, Kursk. "The regional branch of the Liberal Democratic Party urges all Russians not to buy Roshen products so that" our money will not go to weapon for militants. Party members offer Russians "to abandon the goods produced by enterprises belonging to the Ukrainian oligarchs-fascists."
- The coup d'état in Ukraine was well planned and generously funded by both foreign countries and Ukrainian oligarchs. Those who financed the fascist Bandera and incited them to kill, robbery, ethnic cleansing, must incur serious punishment. Of course, in the future they will have their own “Nuremberg Tribunal”. But we can punish them today, the message says. ”
30 July, Cheboksary. “Today, pickets were held in the city in order to draw the attention of citizens to the presence on the shelves of sweets shops produced by the Ukrainian concern Roshen. Activists with posters stood near two stores on Lenin Avenue, as well as near the Shupashkar shopping center. "We urge citizens to abandon the purchase of" maydanovskih "candy, and sellers - to stop selling the products of the bloody president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko," - participants of the action comment on their position
The management of the largest chain of stores in Chuvashia, Sakharok LLC, has already responded to the public: “Currently, work with Roshen products is suspended,” commented the representatives of the sales network. - With opinion in relation to products Roshen and the actions occurring in the east of Ukraine, are unanimous. "
11 June, Omsk. “To ban and dispose of all products of the Ukrainian concern Roshen calls Omsk the leader of the Communist Party faction in the Legislative Assembly of the Omsk region Andrei Alekhin.
- There are no words. This is unprecedented in cynicism and arrogance. This newly-minted president of Ukraine sheds the blood of civilians in the South-East of his country, in fact kills the Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine, and we in Omsk support his business. This is absurd. Bloody and cynical. Our brothers are killed for our money, and here we are paying for these sweets on blood. I will definitely initiate a bill so that all Roshen products can be immediately withdrawn from Omsk stores and taken to a landfill, the deputy said. ”
July 18, Kemerovo. “The shelves of the confectionery departments of the Kemerovo supermarket Promenade and Lapland, where Roshen packaged and weighted candies used to be located, suddenly became empty. Disappearance of candy Kemerovo discovered the night before. This morning, the shelves are gradually trying to fill the packages with confectionery of other Russian companies. Representatives of trade institutions did not comment on the reason for the loss of Roshen chocolates, but they confidently say that Roshen will not be available for sale anymore.
In early July, VTsIOM published the results of a survey of Russians about a possible boycott of Ukrainian goods. Such a boycott until the end of the conflict in the east of Ukraine would have been supported by 42% of Russians, while they disagree with this proposal of 49% of our fellow citizens. ”
September 12, Lipetsk. Employees of the Lipetsk confectionery factory, part of the Roshen corporation owned by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, addressed an open letter to the citizens of Russia:
“Dear Russian buyers! Recently, due to the political situation in Ukraine, an extremely negative attitude towards our products has developed. In this regard, we would like to talk about our factory, about the people who work in it.
Lipetsk confectionery began its work in 1966 year. In 90-e years, the difficult economic situation in the country has not bypassed our company. Therefore, in 2001, the factory under the program “Investments in the Lipetsk Region” became part of the confectionery corporation “Roshen”. Due to investments and profits from the sale of sweets, reconstruction and modernization of production began, the number of employees over the years increased from 300 to 1500 people. A new plant was built in the village of Sentsovo.
When in 2013, Russia was banned from importing Roshen products from Ukraine, only Russian Lipetsk confectionery factory products remained on the shelves of Russian stores under the Roshen brand. At the same time, not a single payment was transferred to the shareholders in Ukraine as a dividend. All profits earned by our organization went exclusively to the development of production. All statements that we are financing some actions unfriendly for our country in Ukraine are absolutely groundless.
Lipetsk confectionery factory is actively involved in charity. Assistance was provided to residents of South Ossetia after the armed conflict, residents of Primorsky Krai and the city of Krymsk after the floods occurred there. So why do we and our products suddenly become strangers? Why do some people in our sweets see a political aftertaste instead of chocolate and caramel? Why is no one boycotting other confectionery products produced in enterprises owned by various foreign companies, including from countries that have imposed economic sanctions against Russia? It turns out that their products are domestic, and ours are not. We strongly disagree with that! ”
And they probably make the wrong honey!
In the car of production manager Olga Pershina there is a St. George ribbon. At the same time, she has great respect for both Petro Poroshenko and Roshen Corporation President Vyacheslav Moskalevsky. And this is not just a tribute to subordination. At the factory it is difficult to find a person who would treat the Ukrainian partners negatively. And then people have good reasons.
“I’ll call you two numbers now and you’ll understand,” Olga says. - In the nineties, before Roshen came here, we made 500 tons of products per month. Now we do the same amount per day. Rather, they did. To Maidan.
We turn off the road on a secondary road and plunge into a red and yellow medley of golden autumn. And when we emerge, we have a huge enterprise. Clean, new, neat - as if collected from Lego.
- Here we have an electrical substation, that glass building - the boiler room, and the SBU behind it, - over the radio tape recorder, says Olga.
- SBU ?!
- Not SBU, but SBO, - Olga makes the sound more quiet, so as not to be imagined. - Biological treatment station. Not only people work for us, but also bacteria. Purify waste to the state of the purest water.
This is Sentsovo. The first major investment project Roshen in Russia. Having upgraded the main production site in Lipetsk on Dovator Street, the Ukrainian owners of the company set a course for the complete localization of production. That is, they did exactly what the president and the government called for all these years. In the factory in Sentsovo, 4 was invested a billion rubles, now here 30 thousand square meters of production space, 14 conveyors for the production of caramel work. Rather, they worked.
- Kolyan, what kind of fascists are they! Here, my aunt lives near Poltava, she supports the ATO, she transfers money to them, is she a fascist? And her husband is a Jew at all, so he, a fool, is generally torn to the front, is he also a fascist ?!
- Damn, but this argument I do not understand! Even on the Maidan, everyone shouted: Look, see how many Russians, Georgians, Jews are among us — what kind of fascists are we? But why did everyone decide that a Jew could not be a fascist? Jew what - not a man, or what?
Free time is now full of workers in Sentsovo, as a result - political disputes in smoking rooms have become aggravated.
“And my daughter-in-law from Donetsk tells me that she has all the acquaintances of the militia who hate her,” a heavy woman with a huge mole above her lip is connecting. - But the Russian military, on the contrary, love.
- Is it like this?
“And they love the Ukrainian military too.” She says that those and others are trying to restore order. They no longer care what kind of order. And the militia-it is a rabble, seized upon the power and excesses.
If I had been brought here with my eyes closed and untied the bandage only in the corridor, I would have thought that I had come not to the factory, but to the hospital. Here and there people are darting in light-green surgical pajamas - these are workers of the conveyor. Sometimes there is a management team in white coats. To move from shop to shop, you have to wash your hands each time, while studying a large color poster displaying all the germs that we wash off from our palms, fingers and nails. After the fifth procedure of all microbes, I already remember by name and patronymic, and my hands itch from cleanliness - a very rare natural phenomenon.
- Black in-o-ora-a-an! Well you vye-e-shshya! - someone from "surgeons" delays. Employees who are orphaned without work sit in a circle and leave the marriage: sweets in one bag, candy wrappers in another. Ears, beards, tails, twins, shells - the names of varieties of marriage delight even more than the names of microbes. Just before the production was stopped, a line of caramel called “Wheels” was launched in this workshop. Therefore, instead of a clumsy “sorting out”, the workers of the workshop came up with a more cheerful name - “tire fitting”.
- I now began to watch more TV, there was no time before, - the vocalist jokes. - Look news and outraged: that Poroshenko is a reptile! And then I come to work and think: why does this scum pay the biggest salary in the city? Even while idle. Moreover, every year he raises it himself, without pressure from below. And those who are for their homeland, for Stalin - for some reason they are confident that we will win only if we lose our wages. Leonidych, there will soon begin reductions.
The cuts have already begun. Now in Russia, Roshen employs about two thousand people. The same number - suppliers, contractors, partners. The factory will be fired 500 people. Further down the chain, due to production cuts, everyone will get - corrugated packaging manufacturers, raw material suppliers, carriers, distributors, even agricultural producers who are engaged in sugar beet. The number of laid-off at least double. This is not to mention the reduction of tax revenues. Last year, along with customs duties, Roshen paid two billion rubles in Russia.
“And next we could pay twice as much,” says the first deputy general director, Oleg Kazakov. - After all, we in 2011 started another investment project in the neighboring Kosyrevka. It is even cooler than in Sentsov. Let's go show!
Before me, again, the construction of the Lego, but this time much unfinished. The brilliant cladding panels coexist with gray concrete, and ideally asphalted terrain - with pits.
- 70 thousand square meters of production space, 230 thousand tons of products per year, - the grief in the eyes of Kazakov painfully struggles with delight from the heaps of plans. - Plus logistic center at 66 thousands of pallet locations.
- What places?
- Paletto. This is such a big tray for storing finished products. After the launch of these facilities, we would transfer the entire Roshenov product line from Ukraine to Russia, and there would be a complete localization of production. These are 2500 additional jobs, and what places! The average salary in our 32 is thousands of rubles, only officials have in the Lipetsk region above. And also add a cumulative effect here by doubling the volumes of all our contractors and suppliers. And now tell me, who is the real patriot of Russia: Petro Poroshenko or, for example, Aman Tuleyev, who in Kemerovo declared Roshan “non-grata sweets”?
- Yes, all right, your sorrowful work will not be lost. Poroshenko will sell his business to any of the Russians, and heal better than before.
- Will sell ?! Do you think selling such a huge corporation is just going out and whistling? He is already trying to do it, but selling it all cheap does not make sense, but at the real price nobody takes anything. Who needs such a colossus burdened with enormous political risks? Even if it could be sold in parts, in factories - not everyone will buy. In the Russian confectionery market now there are simply no players able to buy the plant with a capacity of 400 thousand tons per year. To steal is another matter, it is please.
- What? Already trying?
- Not that word.
I got it!
In fact, the problems at the Lipetsk plant Roshen began long before euromaidan. And they were not connected with politics in any way. Just at some point, politics has become an instrument of fierce competition.
“The largest producer in the confectionery market is the United Confectioners holding, which is part of the Guta investment group,” says Konstantin Vakhonin, director general of all Roshen divisions in Russia. - United Confectioners own fifteen large enterprises, including Rot Front, Krasny Oktyabr, Babayevsky. These are very famous factories, but from a technological point of view they are far behind, their labor productivity is three times lower than ours, all together these fifteen enterprises produce only four times as many products as our Lipetsk factory alone.
In the leadership of Roshen, "United Confectioners" call "our worst competitors", putting in the word "worst" not only economic but also moral and ethical meaning. Here we are sure that Moscow predators are betting not so much on the development and modernization of their own production, as on the monopolization of the market.
“The main instrument of this struggle is the intellectual rights to Soviet confectionery brands,” said Taisiya Voronina. - Most of them belong to the “United Confectioners”, and they are suing them with everyone from whom you can get serious sums. And if the enterprise itself is of interest, then this branded terror can become a tool for raiding.
History The problems are as follows. In Soviet times, all the “Red Hats”, all the “Alenki”, all the “Bears in the North”, of course, belonged to the state. All confectioneries of the country, without exception, had the right to use these brands, the main thing is to follow the recipe. A similar situation was observed with other products - from processed cheese to vodka. In 90, broken production chains have grown together as necessary. In the alcohol market, for example, a common use system has been preserved: those who wish to sell vodka under a Soviet brand simply pay a fixed amount to Soyuzplodimport, and everyone is happy. The same situation, for example, in the meat market: the Doctor's sausage is just a recipe, and not at all a trademark owned by someone alone.
In the confectionery industry, however, grew differently. As soon as the law on intellectual property was passed in 1992 in Russia, the Moscow factories, which would later become part of the United Confectioners holding, jumped in on time and registered almost all Soviet brands. For a long time, this circumstance didn’t really bother market participants: the law only declared the intellectual right, but did not give an opportunity to seriously punish its violators. However, in 2008, the relevant amendments were made to the Civil Code, and since then, "United Confectioners" have begun to sue one claim after another.
The Russian confectionery market is divided into a "party of power" and "opposition." The first grouped around the Association of Confectionery Enterprises (“Ascond”), which actually became a tool for upholding the interests of “United Confectioners”. Among the oppositionists, however, the regionals were mainly forced to survive in the conditions of tough competition due to the active modernization of production. To avoid patent terror by Muscovites, they began to use pseudo-brands. Competition has become similar to the guerrilla war. The market was flooded with candies “Red magician”, “Lastonka”, “Korovushka”, “Kara-Bum”, chocolates “Alinka” and other wonders of nature. Even the Primorsky Pastry Factory, which was once invented, developed and launched the famous Bird's Milk, was now forced to disguise itself as Bird's Milk of the Seaside. However, this disguise did not save her from a lawsuit. And not only her. On the account of the “United Confectioners” there are already a few won claims against producers of pseudo-brands, and the sums of charges are calculated in tens and even hundreds of millions of rubles.
The fierce war of lobbyists and the discussion about how the Russian sweets market should develop, is intensifying every year. Supporters of the “communist path” say that general brand use will be a powerful impetus for the development of production, and some market participants will lose the tool for unfair competition. Opponents, in response, argue that under reputable brands the market will be flooded with poor-quality products, and indeed the revision of 90's privatization results is a dangerous thing, it is better not to start playing this game.
One way or another, but the Lipetsk confectionery factory also managed to plunge into legal action from the United Confectioners. The reason to find it was easy. From the depths of Roshen to the market, something called “Swallow-song” flashed. In Soviet times, the Swallow and Pevunya candies were produced, now both brands belong to whom. But in Lipetsk it was decided that “Swallow Pevunya” is a separate trademark, and even registered it with Rospatent. The court decided otherwise. The lawsuit against “Swallows” on 211 million rubles has already been satisfied, next in line is “Pevunya”, which Roshen can manage in 70 millions more.
“But in parallel with the arbitration in April last year, United Confectioners initiated a criminal case against us,” continues the first deputy director general, Oleg Kazakov. - Under article 180 of the Criminal Code, part of 1 - "Illegal use of trademarks." The case went shaky or shaky until all this policy began around euromaidan. In March, the criminal case was suddenly retrained to part of 3 - the same thing, committed by a group of persons in a preliminary conspiracy. And this is the real time - up to six years. And soon a raid was made on our office - I can’t call it another way.
“Eighty people of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB, including for some reason from Moscow, came up,” continues the story of Taisia Kirillovna. - The search went from 9 in the morning to 2 hours of the night. Then there were interrogations until the morning. All this, of course, then got into the press - both local and federal. But the main result of this circus is the arrest of funds in our accounts. Billion rubles and fifteen million dollars. Just before the deadline, when we had to pay a fine of 211 millions for Swallow.
The management of the Lipetsk confectionery factory is confident that this was an attempt at a raider seizure. The scheme is really popular: a huge fine is imposed on a company by the court and its accounts are frozen in a parallel criminal case — that is, the defendant is deprived of the opportunity to pay this fine. This is followed by the arrest of property with all its consequences. With regard to single enterprises, this scheme works flawlessly. But a large corporation stands behind the Lipetsk confectionery factory: they sent the necessary amount from Kiev, and paid the fine on time. In the “United Confectioners”, of course, they say that they only protect their violated rights by all legal means, and they consider speculations on the topic of raiding. However, it is possible that this is the case. Now the situation around the Ukrainian business in Russia is such that there is someone to run into besides the Guta Group.
It seems the rain is starting...
“But the situation has changed a bit since then,” Oleg Kazakov makes a sly face. - Siloviki, too, are not fools. They see: Putin and Poroshenko still shook hands. From this moment, those who want to wet us noticeably diminished. Well, how tomorrow they make up? And then the bureaucratic machine will work the other way. They will begin to look for: and who is it here that we have driven a wedge between the fraternal peoples? Who was engaged in the redistribution of the market on the sly? The state machine now reminds me of a cobra, which is hiding before the jump and thinks, assesses the risks.
“I think we just need to endure all this, sit out, crack our teeth,” sums up Taisiya Voronina.
Taisia Kirillovna knows what she is saying. It is at the plant since 1969, of which the general director is the last 26 of years. In this chair, Voronin was sitting under Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko. She sat in it under Gorbachev and the Emergency Committee. Gritting her teeth, she pulled the company through 90 under Yeltsin, when every day seemed the last. But everything worked out, and she continued to sit in her chair under Putin the First, under Medvedev and under the Second Putin. The main thing is not to have to sit with the revolution and with the NEP.