They Jump on Anything That Moves

podgorkov-queue-for-beer-1970s
Sergei Podgorkov, Queue for Beer, 1970s. Courtesy of oldsp.ru

Government Proposes Banning Individual Entrepreneurs from Selling Beer 
Anton Obrezchikov
RBC
November 22, 2016

Rosalkogolregulirovanie (Russian Federal Service for Regulating the Alcohol Market) plans to prohibit the sale of beer and cider at outlets registered to individual entrepreneurs. Producers argue the decision will be a blow to small business.

Several sources in the alcohol business have told RBC that Rosalkogolregulirovanie plans to ban the sale of alcohol at outlets registered to individual entrepreneurs. According to one of our interlocutors, the law “On State Regulation of the Production and Sales of Ethyl Alcohol, Alcohol, and Alcohol Products, and On the Limitation of Consumption (Drinking) of Alcohol Products” will be amended to reflect the move.

Rosalkogolregulirovanie did not respond to RBC’s request for comments.

Kommersant’s sources reported on the draft bill on Tuesday, November 22. According to the draft document, which the newspaper had seen, restrictions would be introduced nationwide on July 1, 2017, with the exception of Crimea and Sevastopol. The ban would be postponed in these regions until January 1, 2018.

Currently, individual entrepreneurs can engage in retail sales of beer, beer drinks, and various sorts of cider and mead. In addition, a separate category of entrepreneurs, those who have the status of agricultural producers, can sell wine. So far, however, such entrepreneurs do not officially exist in Russia. At the moment, only three applications for the relevant commerical license have been filed, and none of them has been approved yet.

As Kirill Bolmatov, corporate affairs director for Heineken, told RBC, Rosalkoregulirovanie’s main beef with individual entrepreneurs is that they are “insufficiently disciplined when filling out the mandatory paper financial  reporting statements.”

“Yet EGAIS [Unified State Automated Information System] completely tracks the movement of all alcoholic beverages in real time, and there is no point in filling out the statements,” said Bolmatov.

He called the pressure on businessmen “harmful,” since “beer is a large share of the turnover for small shops.” Adoption of the amendments would entail closing a large number of small shops.

“It’s a blow to small business,” he told RBC.

Individual entrepreneurs account for at least 37% of all retail outlets selling SAN InBev’s products, Oraz Durdyyev, the beer company’s legal and corporate relations director, told RBC.

“Prohibiting individual entrepreneurs from selling beer would deal a serious blow to legal small businesses, because beer is one of the high-margin products they have in stock, which helps keep prices down on goods purchased by the underprivileged,” argued Durdyyev. “Given the current economic realities, a ban like this is out of place and harmful, and could lead to increased social tensions.”

Entrepreneurs and beer companies have already faced significant restrictions on sales venues. As a spokeperson for Baltica brewing company reminded us, restrictions on beer sales at kiosks were introduced on January 1, 2013. According to the company, kiosks accounted for 20% of all beer sold. Since then, the number of retail outlets selling beer has decreased by 50,000. Over 30,000 of these outlets were kiosks and pavilions. During the period, the number of kiosks has fallen by 75%, from 30,000 to 8,600, and the number of pavilions by 24%, from 45,00 to 35,000. Baltica beer is sold at approximately 100,000 outlets registered to individual entrepreneurs, the company told us.

Translated by the Russian Reader

________

The Soft Boys, “Leppo And The Jooves”

Crabwise
Over the Andalusian extensions of the life and loves of Noddy
Through the windows of disgust
The teeth of Leppo and his managers awry
No time to cry

Sunrise
A lamp of no position in the loss of all existence
To the vultures without bibles and
The preachers without leaves that pass it by
No time to sigh

All them pretty women
Planted in a row
You see them in the newspapers
But you can’t have ’em – no!
No no no no no no no no! Oh ho ho!

They get Lep-Lep-Leppo and the J-J-J-J-J-Jooves
They jump on anything that m-m-m-m-m-moves
On taxis, coffin-lids, Americans, piano-heads and roofs
Leppo…

Likewise
A farmer and his diary might conspire to freeze a widow
So I went to rob the lizard
Of his skin, his coat, his money and his earth
All that he’s worth

Someday
You realize that everything you do or see or think of
If it interferes with nothing
Might as well dissolve in arrows or in tears
Nobody hears

All them famous people
Washed off in the rain
Leave not even a puddle, baby
All you leave is your name
Huh-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!Your name!

I got a name, baby
It’s Lep-Lep-Leppo and the J-J-J-J-J-Jooves
Oh ho ho!
They jump on anything that m-m-m-m-m-moves
Ah ha ha! Ah ha ha.
On taxis, coffin-lids, Americans, piano-heads and roofs
Leppo…

Listen
And you can hear the dripping of the clocks, the reaping of the sun
The vengeance of the hammer and
The squeamish tight explosion of the liar
Burn in the fire

Gazing
With unforeseeing eyes into the smoke, the lungs of war
And all the endless formulations of unusable beginnings that
Have grown from hungry rivers into trees
Nobody sees

All them hungry people
They don’t look so good
But I don’t let it bother you
I don’t see why it should
No no no no no no!
Oh oh ho!
Oh ho ho!

Lep-Lep-Leppo and the J-J-J-J-J-Jooves
They jump on anything that m-m-m-m-m-moves
On taxis, coffin-lids, Americans, piano-heads and roofs
Leppo…

Source: Oldie Lyrics

Rospotrebnadzor Axes “Public Refrigerator” in Petersburg

“A Project like This Is Impossible in Russia”: Why the Public Refrigerator Has Closed Forever
The organizer of the first public refrigerator in Russia explains why European know-how did not catch on here
Julia Galkina
The Village
November 16, 2016

Public Refrigerator on Vasilyevsky Island. Photo courtesy of The Village and Svetlana Kholyavchuk/TASS

The first public refrigerator opened on Sunday, November 13, in Petersburg, outside the Thank You! charity shop on Vasilyevsky Island. The organizers had hoped that all comers would put unwanted food in the refrigerator and freely taked it. The refrigerator operated for exactly one day. (Read Greenpeace’s report about what that looked like.) On Monday, November 14, state consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor sealed the refrigerator, explaining, “We welcome charity, but the present case concerns not items for the poor, but food products. With all due respect to the organizers, if food poisoning happens and someone gets hurts, Petersburgers will blame us.” On Tuesday, November 15, the organizers abandoned the idea and removed the refrigerator, remarking that “the project is not compatible with Russian legislation.” Now they “are looking for other forms of foodsharing offline.”

Such public refrigerators exist in Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, Poland, and other countries. Why can Europeans manage it, but we cannot? We talked about this with Alexandra Lyogkaya, founder of the project Foodsharing: I Give Away Food for Free.

“As far as I know, the public refrigerators in European countries also work on the person-to-person system, the same way we wanted to organize it. The authorities there do not interfere with the work of such projects. In Russia, on the contrary, it didn’t take off, unfortunately.

“Thank You! was the only team in the city who agreed to try out the public refrigerator project with us. They made their porch available. We did all the prep work together, printing stickers and distributing adverts. It was a completely joint project. We did not vet anything with officials. We thought about it, but probably we counted on the good experience in western countries.

Queue at the public refrigerator on Vasilyevsky Island. Photo courtesy of Greenpeace
Queue at the public refrigerator on Vasilyevsky Island. Photo courtesy of Greenpeace

“People brought a lot of products—sweets, fruits, and so on—right at opening time. The refrigerator opened at twelve noon on Sunday, and Rospotrebnadzor sealed it on Monday around one-thirty in the afternoon. Even afterwards people came to pick up and bring food. As far as I know, they keep coming even now. They just leave it outside, and someone has picked it up a few minutes later.

“We had no restrictions. Anyone at all could bring and pick up food. Of course, many old women and old men came to get food. By the way, originally, the idea had been that the refrigerator would be used by people who could not get food through our group page on Vkontakte. Yet many old ladies said they were also willing to bring food themselves.

“I was ready for anything. That the refrigerator would be stolen, that it would break down, that the police and regulatory authorities would come. Rosprotrebnadzor’s visit upset me, of course, but I cannot say I was in shock or didn’t expect it. I tried to be mentally prepared for any outcome.

“Rospotrebnadzor told us that a public refrigerator was impossible in Russia. We could organize a cart to feed all comers or a public cafeteria, but not something in which anyone can donate products. So each volunteer would have to have the relevant papers. If you put pasties or jam in the refrigerator, show us your certificates listing the ingredients and how it was made, stored, and transported.

“Because our project is purely nonprofit (no money is involved), we would not be able to organize something big-scale like a cafeteria. For now, unfortunately, we have nopt come up with a way of doing an offline foodsharing project that would be legal and just as simple as the public refrigerator.

“I really liked the way people reacted well to the refrigerator. I think that matters more than what happened later. If the authorities had allowed us to put it there, but people had not understood the idea and been against it, it would have been much worse.  So we just need to find the right form. People both young and old are ready for such a project.”

Translated by the Russian Reader