In March, there was high demand for many food products. As a result, prices increased. Now the demand, by contrast, fell. In this case, it should decline and prices?

Andrey Tenishev: Preconditions for reduction of prices on food there. And they are reduced to the same buckwheat, the ill-fated ginger, sunflower oil, lemons and more. This is due not only to falling demand but also the recovery of imports of after some problems in logistics because of the coronavirus, as well as FAS taken measures to stabilize the situation.

the Only thing – our work is complicated by the fact that many companies moved their employees to udalenku. Coming with the check to the vendor, and there is one guard.

But that did not stop you to reveal signs of collusion buckwheat and lemons, to punch the elevators are selling grain from the state Fund. Now the situation is stabilized? Or there are still “pockets” of overpricing?

Andrey Tenishev: Let’s be honest: food in comparison, for example, from 2014 we are now in a favorable situation. We have managed in many positions to minimize import dependence. However, sometimes we have egregious cases of price surges, or even the shortage of goods.

For me still the mystery of why buckwheat is an indicator of changes in the economy. Because of objective reasons for concern. Only Altai Krai produces buckwheat in volume, can meet the needs of the whole of Russia. In General, the country produced twice as much as we need.

That is the deficit of buckwheat can not be in principle. And if he does it is the artificial creation of scarcity. Then there is a conspiracy. And we shall find evidence of this conspiracy. Although to prove a cartel agreement is difficult and time consuming. As international experience shows, for disclosure of any cartel in commodity markets takes months and sometimes years. This is a big and laborious work of the Antimonopoly service and law enforcement agencies. I hope that the results of this work, the guilty will be punished up to criminal liability.

But it will happen later. And buckwheat, rice, bread, meat, pasta population needs in the here and now and at affordable prices. So we continue to look for the culprits. But, in addition, taken a number of measures to ensure that such price shocks didn’t happen neither in product markets nor on the shelves.

We conducted a number of meetings with manufacturers, suppliers of buckwheat, recorded their promises that we have no problem should not arise. We have issued several cautions to the heads of industry associations that they were accurate in their statements that “all is lost” and did not provoke t��most causeless panic among producers and the public. We interact with the Prosecutor’s office: conducted a series of joint inspections of grain elevators that ship grain from the intervention Fund, issued a warning to those on which it was discovered that the apparent overpricing.

Yes, but there is an objective reality – the weakening of the ruble led to higher prices for imported goods and raw materials…

Andrey Tenishev: Take for example the fish. If we are talking about the Chilean sea bass, tuna, here it is clear why significantly increased prices. But why should prices rise on our far Eastern Pollock or suburban carp? If there is an influence that is very indirect. For example, we have to buy imported food. But taxes, wages, transportation costs and much more remains the same. So why the fish needs to rise by 30% along with the dollar? Just somebody under the guise of trying to shift the problems associated with exchange rate fluctuations, the cost of their product. So it is impossible.

In mid-April, there was a scandal: suppliers accused the retail network 300 per cent trade margin. Commercial network providers in the wrap selling price. And suppliers manufacturers. On whose side was the truth?

Andrey Tenishev: We all of these claims carefully analyzed and came to the conclusion that the truth was not anywhere. There was an attempt to put the blame on other members of the chain. It’s one thing to make loud statements in the media, and the other to prove their word documents. This could not be done in either one of the parties.

If demand fell, maybe you need to support a trading network or other participants in the supply chain?

Andrey Tenishev: At the time of excessive demand people had been stockpiling products prior to June inclusive, and thus lent the entire chain from field to fork. It was a big interest-free loan. Now all participants in the chain – from manufacturers to retailers – a good safety cushion. By using it it is possible to compensate for the drop in demand and revenues.

But targeted measures to support must be. So, it would be nice to subsidize the transportation of grain from the same Altai region to the producers of this region were equal to those working in the European part of Russia. A series of protectionist measures to restrict the export has been made at the EEC level. Them enough to not worry about food security of the country.