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The main supplier of residences in the Community of Madrid claims to have received orders for lobster and caviar


Femar Platform denies a decrease in the quantity or quality of the menus in response to complaints about the food it serves. He claims to have incurred losses of 400,000 euros due to the demands of the regional administration

What is happening in the dining rooms of social centers in Madrid?

Complaints about low quality, scarcity, bad appearance and condition of the product or menu design have intensified since the food supply system was changed, whose main supplier the regional government has imposed six sanctions.

However, the company denies a decrease in quality or quality and denounces losses of 400,000 euros due to the high level of demand and demand from the client, who has come to ask for delicacies such as "lobster, suckling lamb and caviar".

"What is sought in these centers is to eat with dignity, they cannot ask us for smoked salmon," complain those responsible for the company, who in 25 years of bidding for different administrations "had never" seen "anything like it" as what is happening with the Community of Madrid.

The problem began in September, with the new annual contract at the Madrid Social Care Agency (AMAS), dependent on the Ministry of Social Policies and which manages 58 facilities in which it serves food, including residences for the elderly, centers for minors, occupational or for the disabled, and soup kitchens.

In total, 50,000 daily menus for an average of 5.37 euros per day per person.

It went out to tender in nine lots, of which five were awarded to a Sevillian company, Plataforma Femar.

In total, 37 centers with a capacity for 5,235 people: 9 residences for the elderly, 22 for minors and 6 social centers that, until then, were self-sufficient.

The first complaint came in January, when CC OO complained of "poor quality, terrible condition and shortage" in children's residences.

In February, the children of the elders of the Francisco de Vitoria center in Alcalá de Henares assured in a plenary session that their parents “go hungry”.

Added to them are four nursery schools ―Vallehermoso, El Valle, El Encinar and El Tomillar―, whose food is provided by the children's residence with which they share the premises and which have been receiving "crazy menus", according to Raquel Pérez, director of El Tomillar , with “inadequate, not recommended or prohibited foods” for children from 0 to 3 years old.

For example, lamb's lettuce salad with walnuts, raisins and shrimp;

salmon and pipirrana.

There it was solved in December, thanks to pressure from parents.

"Now the children go home eaten and have eaten well, but it was all horrible,

Faced with criticism, Fátima López, the person in charge of tenders at Femar, assures that her raw material "is not of poor quality, it complies with the specifications" and admits some incidents, but the "normal" ones of any supply chain: "Incidents are always As a matter of fact, we are a company with 200 workers and in Madrid we take many other clients, such as the Royal Palace and Prisons.

If a product is not liked or has been defective, it is withdrawn and replaced.

The centers ask for what they need and ask for more, there is no shortage”.

López alleges that the planning of the menus is the responsibility of the Madrid Social Care Agency: "When we started, the complaints began and rightly so, there were dried fruits, dried apricots, quinoa, couscous... After much talk with AMAS, he tweaked the menus and the new ones began to be served after Christmas”.

A spokesman for Social Policies maintains that they are nutritionally "correct and are supervised by nutritionists."

"They are balanced and adjusted to the needs of children, with vegetables and other foods that sometimes may not be to the taste of some," he argues.

"But they did not comply with the Guide of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics!" replies Enrique Urquijo, a father from Vallehermoso, where the problems lasted until February.

The gourmet food

And where does the

gourmet food go?

that Femar assures that they have been asked?

AMAS maintains that they only demand that they "scrupulously comply with the contract" and explain that "lobster has never been served", but they admit that a director of a children's residence came to ask for it for Christmas.

In the specifications, "meat, meat products and fresh meat preparations" and "fresh fish products" appear without further detail, but in an order model there is suckling lamb and prawns on the additional list for holidays.

The Quimicralm consultancy, which monitors the quality of the supply, cannot speak of "audits because they are internal" and, although it denies that they are serving these delicacies, it admits that "internally" it does not know what AMAS is asking for.

“We audit that they comply with the specifications.

What happens is that they have won a contest that they have to respect,

Manuela Soarece, a nursing assistant for three years at the Francisco de Vitoria residence, burst out laughing: "I've never seen that, we don't even have cookies, I don't even remember how long it's been since we've seen a custard!

The management will eat it, the grandparents will not ”.

Julia Martínez, whose 74-year-old mother has dysphagia due to Alzheimer's, her heart sinks when she sees the broth, “colored water”, and a “chocolate-colored” fruit porridge that there is no body that take it."

“Even Christmas Eve dinner was embarrassing.

The food is more than normal and with a rather bad appearance, zero luxuries”, confirms Maite López, who has both parents with Alzheimer's in this center and who wonders who drinks 2,822 bottles of wine, 106 with designation of origin,

that appear in the specifications "when only a few older people can take it."

His father has lost between six and seven kilos since he was admitted in December and his mother, four.

The company was penalized between September and October with six fines for a total of 43,000 euros for "incidents in the quantity and quality of some products."

According to the Community, "since November there have been no supply problems and, if any imbalance is detected, it is corrected immediately."

The Femar manager, Ignacio Muñiz, replies that this was due to a logistical issue: “We had to have a warehouse less than 40 kilometers from Madrid.

While we were finishing it, we closed an agreement with a warehouse that, days before the start, terminated the contract.

It took us four weeks to locate two.”

Femar has two people dedicated to the contract, who visit the centers and are finding "many surprises, such as the level of supplies and consumption is more than double what they were last year."

"We are supplying everything that is requested and in the first four months we have incurred losses of 400,000 euros due to the level of customer demand, which demands much more than what we can serve," Muñiz bursts out, who claims to have "contrasted with centers and suppliers, who confirm that they ask for things that they had not asked for before, from qualities to out-of-season products”.

“This client is the continuous complaint, when it is the same as we serve hospitals and no one complains.

Something escapes us and you tend to think badly, people who used to make a profit and now want to continue making a profit”, continues the Femar manager.

The company admits mistakes.

He won by offering below what was budgeted by the Community, which gave 70 points out of 100 to the price.

"In some lots we were very aggressive," admits Muñiz.

In the most, in which it affects Francisco de Vitoria, the reduction was 878,613 euros, 22%.

"I talk to my competition and we are the same," says Muñiz, who partly blames inflation: "I buy 30% more expensive.

There is no review clause, it is the worst inflationary escalation in 30 years and the Administration, as if it heard rain ”.

Among its competition, Alessa Catering Services, with two lots, and Fructícolas Ateca, SL, with one, there are benevolent ones ― “neither the bad one is so bad nor the good one is so good”, says one ― and critics.

Eliseo Vidal, Ateca's manager, affirms that they have never asked him for anything out of the ordinary.

“I don't have a single complaint.

I serve correctly and with quality.

We won little, but we won”, he assures.

In his opinion, the problem is that Femar "dropped prices."

Despite everything, the Community has already made a move to extend the contract.

“How will the problems they have with us be that they sent us the communication seven months in advance, no one does.

If they give you less than two notice, you don't have to extend, but with seven you do and, if you break it, they penalize you.

Normally, the agencies ask if you want to continue and, when they see that the contracts are out of date, they call another contest, ”explains Muñiz, who has lost the desire to reapply for a regional government tender.

“I don't want to supply even a kilo of rice to the Community.

The other administrations are a military walk next to this ”, he concludes.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-21

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