The biggest scam made from European funds in 2010 was the opening of Carani Mill, a facility belonging to Aton Transylvania, part of German Aton GmbH. With an overhead carried by one of the best advertising and PR agencies in Europe, but also by bribing local and regional media, Aton Transylvania performed a perfect play, successfully in May 2010. Self-entitled to be the largest mill in eastern Europe, Carani mill does not produce even one gram of flour plant opened in 2010, called Mill 5. In reality, occur all the old flour mill number 4, and its quality is below European standards, so that some customers have decided not to buy flour from Aton Transylvania, and others have sued the company.
At this point, does not produce any Carani flour mill for wheat that the stock is zero.
At the inauguration were published not less than 64 and laudatory articles were published over 20 TV and interviews publireports with Paul Milata, the director of agriculture holding, who is educated as a historian, however.
Here is a sample advertising article, taken from Agri Smart Magazine.
10 Jun 2010
Carani mill grind from the Timis 620 tons of wheat in 24 hours
ATON Transilvania has completed investment of 11 million euros in Mill Carani 5 is currently the largest industrial capacity milling wheat from us and one of the largest mills in Eastern Europe.
Carani 5 mill has a processing capacity of 500 tonnes of wheat in 24 hours, plus another 120 hours tonnes/24 production capacity at the mill operating Caran 4, the other facility of Vital & Heyl. Investing in Mill Carani was supported almost entirely from its own funds, but also benefited from European money through the SAPARD program.
“The completion of this investment, ATON Transilvania enter the top five producers of flour from Romania, the brand Carani Mill resumes where consumer preferences in Western Romania. We thus reconfirming strategy company committed to long term in Romania. I came here to stay, as a strategic investor, “said Paul Milata, ATON Transilvania administrator. He added that the entire production of corn made by the company in Romania is sent exports, the market for North America, Afghanistan and Iraq. “The company’s strategy is moving towards the same market for wheat production. States involved in war are an outlet for us. We are in advanced talks to merge and export wheat markets in Afghanistan and Iraq, “said Paul Milata.
Carani Mill is the only mill in Romania, which operates as an integrated, from grain cultivation, harvesting and milling silozare up to delivery of finished products. The two mills, 4 and 5 are equipped with the latest technology and will produce all types of wheat flour (fingerboard, white, semi-black and Dietetics) and wheat meal. The production will be sold almost exclusively abroad.
ATON Transilvania Group manages over 20,000 hectares of arable land (a portion is owned by German holding company, and one is leased). Land is cultivated with cereals. The company has a capacity of about 250,000 tonnes silozare grain. In 2011, other deposits to be completed with a capacity of 210,000 tonnes silozare. ATON Transilvania has about 550 employees, of which one third are working in the agricultural segment. Headquarters is the city Carani, about 18 km from Timisoara.
German holding company took over in 2006 ATON Transilvania Vital & Heyl milling company, founded in 1993. At the time of acquisition, Vital & Heyl had four plants to process grains. Mills 1, 2 and 3 had a total production capacity of 140 tonnes per day and 4:01 mill capacity of 120 tonnes per day. German investor has decided to stop production at mills 1, 2 and 3, due to outdated technology and has started investing in a new drive with 6 levels and the latest technologies.
ATON Transilvania is one of the top ten German investors in our country. From 2006 until now, ATON GmbH, the sole shareholder of ATON Transilvania our market invested around 250 million euros in agriculture and other fields.
Currently, half of ATON Transilvania business focuses on agriculture and runs through companies Agri Concept, Vital & Heyl, Agrocereal, Arendt Trans and CER-Oil.
The seemingly odd, no official of the European Union has not officially notified the opposite of what was done with SAPARD funds, offered the Aton group for mill unit 5 in Carani. The technical details of which were praised at the Aton Transylvania are but those who gave it away.
5 mill is not working and did not even test operated at minimum capacity, to visit the official opening. Then flour seen by officials and journalists came from the die 4 while idle mill in May. But with the help of marketing, Paul Milata almost managed to fool everyone.
The 600 tonnes of wheat per day is a mere lie, Mill May not work because the installation is not technically completed. Problems and flour are produced at the mill in April. The stock of the die can be stored for up to 20 minutes, because missing buffer silos, line mixing and storage facility.
In numbers, that are produced here 20 tonnes of flour per hour, it must be wrapped and tied in bags of 50 kilograms, or 400 bags per hour. Or, this is impossible and can only be done manually automated. Without automation, the people should atonic flour in silos buffer cache then be sack. But to sack flour through this process, it should first be homogenized. This is not done, however.
Missing several important ingredients, such as protein, which are the basic technology to produce this food, which endangers the health of consumers and business end of those who buy and use the flour from the brewer. First meal at Aton not better, as the rules require food, on the grounds that the laboratory is no longer functional, distilled water machines have been decommissioned, and all the experts have been dismissed. The new machines are not used for two reasons: people do not know how to operate them and those who work, do it at the rate of damage, repair costs is due to improvisation, according to the statements of the mill workers Carani.
In the absence of laboratory at Aton meal contains proteins necessary breeders, but more serious is that it is made mandatory tests: analysis of wheat flour analysis, farinograma (analysis of dough), extensograma which measures how elastic dough and baking the sample and without additives. Thus, there are hundreds of complaints from bakeries, because flour can be used. Proof of this are and termination of commercial contracts and the opening of the lawsuits against former clients Aton Transylvania and other plants in Craiova and in neighboring cities, as well as in Hungary. The facilities are not maintained in accordance with food safety rules, customers have noticed Aton flour delivered in the presence of cuts and insect debris and butterflies. It’s about grain moth, worms and butterflies made their nests in the mill in Caran facilities because no humidity controls.
Authorities did not see nor hear
Despite complaints, food safety and health authorities and those in agriculture do not bother with any control, even routine ones from Aton Transylvania. Those responsible for SAPARD funds were found and signed receipt for Mill 5 as functional, although it did not produce even one bag of wheat. SANEPID Timis did not control this unit. The “blind” is Timis Agricultural Department representatives that they do not bother to make checks but have a favorable opinion granting Carani Mill manufacturing license for flour. Weekly visits to Aton Transylvania, of the Agricultural Department Director Timis, PDL-party Tiberiu Lelescu may be explained this way ,as it also is recorded on a note in the national intelligence service surveillance. In his visits, the employee of the Romanian state Tiberiu Lelescu advises those from Transylvania Aton legal issues of agriculture and gives them advice how to benefit from money grants and subisidies from the APIA. In the same context of subsidies, it should be noted that those working at Aton says no less than 35,000 hectares of agricultural land, and in fact working around 10 thousand hectares. In this context, the logical question is how they managed those from Aton Transylvania to renew their certification ISO 90001. There should be referred to two organizations: HACCP and ANAMOB, from which the official inauguration was attended by Viorel Marin.
Playing with jobs
AtonTransylvania practices proven hiring method of redundancy. While Paul Milata tells the press, he creates new jobs, in reality he has fired several hundred people to employ the exact same number of people. But with fixed-term contracts.
Thing that seems to lack the Territorial Labour Inspectorate’s attention. In September 2009, the group Aton Transylvania had between 600 and 700 employees, of which 200 in the agriculture sector. In late 2010, records ITM Timis show Aton Transylvania is still with about 700 employees, although the actual number of peopel working in agriculture declined from 200 to only 30 people. Schnell house production division had 50 employees and now there is none. The section of metal, the figure ranged between 200 and 400 employees. Overall, of the three departments have been sacked at least 50 people. Another intention is the immediate closure of the former FNC, ie sections of metal, agriculture, repair shop, offices and, piece of resistance from the two silos AGROCEREAL and CEROIL, both part of Aton. There is fear among employees that they will be fired improperly. This is because, say sources inside Aton, the new arrangements are made only for a fixed period of 3 months. Although there are employees who work at Aton six months or more but still under a temporary contract, without giving them permanent employment contracts. Sources from the tax inspection claim that there is Timis suspicion of embezzling funds of salary, appearing on the payroll of 700 employees, which in reality are punţin half. An episode that reinforces suspicions was told by several former and current employees, stating that director Paul Milata forced them to give him copies of all perosnal documents and IDs, after persuading them with face to face discussions. Copies have been placed in a vault about Milata said later that he lost the keys of that vault.