Chicken in the ice age

Every month, hundreds of consumers in the province are left without receiving chicken of the ration card, due to the repeated shortages in the deliveries to the butchers.

Estela and the other four family members were included in April on an undesired and uncertain list. Since everyone works or studies, it was impossible to buy the chicken and, when Estela arrived, it was over. She only had the consolation of appearing on the mentioned paper, alongside others who suffered the same misfortune.

Surely in other times her history would not have brought so many problems: She could the chicken in the Ideal Market, or to that they sell in CUC; now, according to the difficult situation that the country is experiencing, that food is scarce and, for Estela's family, where everyone works or studies, access becomes almost impossible.

Her is just a name that personifies those in the province who have suffered and still suffer from an intolerable situation, especially with the efforts of the State to guarantee, at least, the products of the basic ration book.

So, in search of answers, artemiseño newspaper inquired with butchers, managers and consumers. Beyond some or other answers, the important thing is to act so that these stories do not repeat.

On the butcher's side

La Bandera butcher´s, on Colón street , in the capital city, supplies 3 400 consumers: 120 of them had not bought the product at the time of our visit, without a specific date for the replacement.

Alfredo Falcón, the administrator, referred to inconveniences at the time of weighing. "The manufacturer indicates 15 kilograms (33 pounds) outside the box, but at the time of delivery they weigh each one; sometimes it gives up to 37 pounds, and when you remove the box (wet weighs more) and melts all the ice, the chicken does not even reach the allowable, "he says while showing evidence of the latest weighings.

The quality of the chicken, he says, also matters . "Sometimes it's very big: you have to put together a lot of pieces , and the missing is bigger".

When inquiring about the fate of these 120 consumers, he guaranteed having them already on a list and having reported the situation. "We make the report, but the date of the replacement is uncertain."

In Güira de Melena we find evidences of these lists, and letters like the one described in the section The people think, of the 16th edition of this weekly newspaper , report similar situation in San Antonio de los Baños.

Alquízar is not the exception either. Juan Sosa, administrator of El Novillo butcher shop, with 1 449 consumers, refers to this as an old problem. "In the last delivery they lacked about 40 pounds, with 42 affected consumers", it reproaches to the time that it shows the list.

The main issue lies at the time of weighing, Sosa says . "The only solution for this is that we weigh the real chicken, and not the boxes and ice added." The allowable loss only compensates the losses when splitting the product; hence, always missing, explains.

And he refers to this inconvenience as one who is getting tired of being the bad guy in the film, because they are the ones who finally face the consumer and, for many, those responsible for those "missing".

On the other side of the chicken ... and the ice

Month after month this is a topic of analysis of the corresponding managers. Besides being a nuisance to the population, these shortages entail losses for the UEB of Commerce that must compensate consumers with the chicken destined for their units, warns Alfredo Ramos, director of Commerce in the Provincial Commerce, Gastronomy and Services Company.

According to Ramos, the ration card chicken is supplied directly to the meat shops of Candelaria and Havana; in each unit, separating what the box says, we weigh each one, with the discount of the tare of the box (between 0.5 and 0.6 kilograms).

And Ramos emphasizes the essential rigor in this process, because daily experience has shown that, where there is control by managers and butchers, there is much less chicken: "When the received is shown and the supplier is required, the situation improves; in fact there are municipalities, such as Candelaria, San Cristóbal, Bahía Honda and Güira de Melena, with better indicators than Artemisa and Guanajay, where chicken is more defrosted. "

However, he points out that this situation is not exclusive to Artemisa; that's why the Ministry of Domestic Commerce recently issued Resolution 26/19, referring to the increase in the percentage of shrinkage caused by thawing, from two to four, which should compensate the matter somewhat.

As the shortage is smaller, he argues, it is easier for our Company to assume, which currently (given the deficit of this product) is unable to deliver it to the consumer in the current month, as is established.

Defrosting the problem

Mathematics has allowed for centuries to solve great problems of humanity, and this does not considered as such. However, for a Cuban without his ration card supply the matter takes on incalculable dimensions; That is why I prefer this science when it comes to finding the formula for success, humbly posed by the butcher Juan Sosa.

Taking his butcher shop as a reference, I made my own calculations, approximate, of course. For1 449 consumers corresponds that same number in pounds, almost 659 kilograms, plus the loss.

At a rate of 15 kg per box (as indicated by the manufacturer), it is assumed that in that establishment download some 44. Will it be very difficult to weigh the actual content, at least 20% of these, at random, even if it takes longer to process?

In the end, the losses in time could be compensated with the saving, among others, of fuel and money that it generates to replace the missing one.

With more or less shrinkage, the truth is that while the mechanism is not greased and weighs the chicken that the butcher really receives, without ice or packaging in between, the situation will remain the same ... and the most affected, the consumer, will suffer every month the headache that generates being on a list and without chicken.


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