Conflict between Tatulova and the authorities
Anastasia Tatulova founded the AnderSon network in 2009, now it has 44 establishments in seven regions of Russia, as well as in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Belarus. In March 2020, Tatulova, at a meeting between Vladimir Putin and entrepreneurs, said that due to the pandemic, her business was on the verge of bankruptcy, and the support measures proposed by the government were not working. Soon Tatulova was appointed to the post of public ombudsman in the field of small and medium-sized businesses. However, at the same time, she began to have problems with the authorities - Tatulova criticized measures to support entrepreneurs and spoke publicly about the problems. Mass audits began to be carried out in her institutions, her company received 60 various tax requests. The inspectors came to the cafe, sealed the cameras, intimidated employees and took away their phones.
It was her statements that caused threats from the authorities and attempts to close the business, the entrepreneur says. She told The Insider that she received threats, including from one of the Russian deputy ministers. “The threats are related to the fact that I drew attention to one of the cutting schemes and tried to resist it,” Tatulova says, without giving a specific name. “Either ‘go to jail, or shut up and get out of here,’ as the words of a very high-ranking official told me.”
We can talk about her critical publications about the “Honest Mark” certification imposed on entrepreneurs, which Tatulova calls fraudulent.
What is the "Honest Brand" and who makes money on it
Compulsory labeling of a number of categories of popular goods began to work in 2019, when a public-private partnership agreement was signed with the Advanced Technologies Development Center (CRPT) at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. It was reported that the CRPT will implement and maintain the national system of digital marking and traceability of goods "Honest Sign". Only CRPT is allowed to do this, no other operators are provided. Marking is not free: from each pack of products 60 kopecks will go to the operator (50 kopecks + 20% VAT).
As of 2022, the following product groups are labeled:
- Milk and dairy products (including ice cream and cheese);
- Cigarettes and tobacco products;
- Alternative tobacco products;
- Light industry products: some types of clothing, textiles, bed linen;
- Perfumes (perfume and toilet water);
- Car tires and rims;
- Cameras and flash lamps;
- Fur coats and fur products.
Now LLC "CRPT" does not have a single founder. However, until recently, the founders of the company were: Yuesem Technologies LLC of Alisher Usmanov and partners (50%), JSC Concern Avtomatika (25%), which is part of Rostec, and Elvis-Plus Group LLC, venture investor Alexander Galitsky. At the same time, there are no marks in Spark about the release date of these founders; apparently, they were hidden, protecting the company from sanctions risks.
"I didn't understand the situation." The answer of the operator Tatulova
In a November 14 publication, The Insider wrote that one of the versions why Tatulova's business is under pressure from the authorities, including actually searches in her network of establishments, is the topic of certification. A short post was published by an entrepreneur who wrote that paid labeling with the support of the Ministry of Industry and Trade is being promoted by the chairman of the board of directors of the Center for the Development of Advanced Technologies (CRPT) Mikhail Dubinin. In the recent past, Dubinin worked at Alisher Usmanov's USM company as a managing director for the development of IT projects.
“I am categorically against paid labeling for enterprises in any industry. Your employees and the performers hired by them threatened me and those who “dared” to go against the fact that you earn billions of rubles for your “owners”, pulling them out of the pockets of entrepreneurs and buyers. Threats and persecution of those who have spoken out and are speaking out against requisition must be investigated according to the law, and those responsible must be punished.”
In response to the publication of this statement, the CRPT sent The Insider a comment stating that the pressure on Tatulova's business had nothing to do with the company, and Tatulova herself "did not understand the situation." At the same time, the company said that the company is developing at the expense of investors, and not the state budget, so there is no burden on the consumer.
“TsRPT has nothing to do with the processes that are taking place around A. Tatulova and her business. Any speculation on this topic is unfounded. Despite numerous unfounded attacks and informational stuffing in his address, the CRPT tried to contact the entrepreneur, including publicly in her Telegram channel asking for at least some evidence or facts of participation in the “campaign to discredit Tatulova”, as she is calls. All such comments by the CRPT were either ignored or promptly deleted by the channel's moderators. If, nevertheless, A. Tatulova can provide at least some information about the participation in these processes of people related to the CRPT, we are ready to independently contact law enforcement agencies, since such behavior directly contradicts our principles and business ethics.
The businesswoman repeatedly called the “Honest Sign” a method of unjust enrichment, obviously not understanding the situation. The project is being implemented in the format of a public-private partnership entirely at the expense of the investments of the CRPT shareholders and without the use of budgetary funds. Investments amount to 250 billion rubles. As a result, the state received a state traceability information system. The state receives additional benefits from the whitewashing of markets - for tobacco products, for example, illegal turnover has decreased by a quarter, for shoes - by a third, for perfumery - by 2.5 times. The fiscal effect of reducing the illicit tobacco market amounted to 27 billion in 2021 alone.”
“We invested 250 billion to generate an annual income of 463 billion.” Answer Tatulova TsRPT
Anastasia Tatulova commented on The Insider's response to the CRPT. According to her, the operator is misleading when he claims that the company is developing solely with investors' money. Since very soon investors will recoup this money and earn. At the same time, the CRPT is classified as an organization entitled to preferences as IT. According to Tatulova, the company employs almost 390 people, so the insurance premium paid by the employer is 7.6% versus the usual 30%.
“We don’t really assume that the marking of water, milk, bicycle frames, matches, pencils, plasticine, clothes, shoes - and all this in relation to goods of Russian bent production - can be seriously considered by someone not as a way to enrich specific people , but how to protect the consumer from counterfeit goods?
There are three paying parties: entrepreneurs, those same Russian manufacturers who were “sent to make nails”, who pull the strap with their last strength, and more and more fees fall on them, as well as consumers who are protected from information about how much money the marking really costs. full implementation will draw from the pocket of each family per month, into whose pocket this money will go and in what volume.
For example, let's take water. About 7 billion packages (pieces / bottles) of water are produced per year. This is 4.2 billion rubles only for the brands themselves, not counting any additional costs for equipment, administration, additional employees. According to average calculations, this is 300 rubles per person per year (conditionally 500 bottles of drinking water per year). Then we calculate according to the average: 3-4 people in a family, we get 900-1200 rubles for water from each family in favor of the beneficiaries - and this is just ordinary water.
If we are talking about pensioners: in the case of “total” labeling of everything, as in the plans of the CRPT, including all products, then from their pension of 18 thousand rubles, they will leave 500–600 rubles in the store every month for labeling. This is 3% of their “huge” pension.”
Tatulova also refers to the calculations of the head of a consulting company, the founder of Doing Business Together, Natalia Goryachaya. In particular, Hot writes that in 2021, approximately 925.6 billion units of products fall under labeling. This will allow the CRPT to earn about 500 billion rubles annually, which is twice as much as the very contributions of investors to the development of the CRPT, which the company spoke about in its response to Tatulova.
“I took data on the production of products for 2021 from the website of Rosstat, swept aside those groups that will not be labeled, and it turned out that per year in pieces of products reaching the end consumer (we do not label gas, oil, coal and electricity and is not planned to do this), approximately 925.6 billion units (in the form of cans, packages, etc., which eventually ends up on store shelves), that is, the operator will receive an income of 463 billion rubles annually from brands (which is approximately equal to the annual net profit of the oil company Rosneft). For comparison: Platon's revenue for 2021 amounted to 12 billion rubles, Yandex's revenue - 210 billion rubles.
Labeling in other countries
Product labeling is not a Russian know-how, but in other countries it is more often voluntary, with the possibility of choosing an operator. In the US, the entrepreneur independently chooses the system through which the goods are marked, but controls this state. In Germany, labeling is advisory in nature, in France it was also not possible to introduce mandatory labeling due to the reaction of the market, in China the project lives off voluntary donations from entrepreneurs and is not regulated by law.
Most of all, the Russian version resembles labeling in Turkey - it is mandatory for medicines there, they are labeled immediately on production lines. Information about the drug and its transport is read by the scanner and transferred to the national labeling system.