Oct 1st 2013, by Tamara Pearson
Merida, 1st October 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – As part of the government’s Efficiency or Nothing mission and a “need to centralise food planning in order to guarantee food sovereignty”, it has set up two commissions to restructure state owned, worker run cooking oil factories Industrias Diana and others, and the dairy factory Lacteos Los Andes.
Cooking oil companies
A new Venezuelan Corporation of Oils and Fats will bring together four state cooking oil companies; Industrias Diana, Palmeras Diana del Lago, Indugram, and Productos La Fina, in order to centralise national production, supply, and distribution of cooking oils. The new corporation will come under the food ministry.
A presidential decree published in Official Gazette 40,260 established a “micro mission” to carry out the restructuring. The decree gives the process six months, during which time the presidents and managing boards of the companies will be suspended. The micro mission will be responsible for the judicial, financial, operative, and productive aspects of the restructure.
The micro mission (formally called a Restructuring Intervention Board) will be made up of a president and nine members (to be named by that president), as well as a group of administrative support and of 15 experts in diverse areas. The micro mission will be supervised by the vice-president of Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza.
Dester Bryan Rodriguez was named president of the micro mission. Rodriguez is an army general who was also recently chosen by President Nicolas Maduro as the new manager of Industrias Diana. This followed a month long protest by the workers after the food minister imposed a businessman as their manager. Through Rodriguez was also imposed, workers expressed satisfaction with his appointment, stating that he seemed more disposed to “work with” them.
Lacteos Los Andes
A presidential commission under the “Efficiency or nothing” mission has also been approved to begin restructuring Lacteos Los Andes, a worker run, state owned chian of dairy processing plants. There, workers had been struggling against what they allege is corruption within the management, and they see the commission as an achievement under that struggle.
Through direct and secret vote Lacteos workers elected 25 spokespeople as part of the restructuring. Workers told Aporrea that they chose Luis Moreno, one of the workers, as manager, and he will also form part of the national policy board. Each region will also form policy boards, and on Saturday a meeting between unions, worker councils, the national policy board, and new national and territorial management was held in order to put together a plan for the next five years.
Finally, in a decree published in the Gazette on 25 September, the Venezuelan Food Corporation (Cval) was transferred over to the two worker run factories Lacteos Los Andes and Industrias Diana. Cval was established in 2010 as a Social Production Company (EPS) after the government nationalised the agricultural company Agropatria.
Eight sugar companies also form part of Cval, as well as a transportation company, Pedro Camejo, a range of joint ventures with Cuba, such as Lacteos del Alba and Arroz del Alba (milk and rice), 163 social production farming units and more.