The Army's General Staff purchased 19 Covid-74 tests from Wild Planet, a Portuguese company specializing in the production and marketing of soft toys. The contract, in the amount of 20 thousand euros and with an execution term of 100 days, was made by direct agreement, such as a second contract, for the supply of 2 thousand FFP329 masks, for which the Army paid XNUMX thousand euros.
Contacted by Jornal Económico, the General Staff of the Army stated that the supplier selection process started with a market research for the supply of Covid-19 tests and FFP2 masks, “having selected the company that presented the best quotation, conditions and delivery time for the products ”, including the presentation of the respective technical files and certificates, in compliance with“ all formalities ”of the Public Contracts Code. "Wild Planet Lda. Met these requirements, having presented the greatest urgent capacity to supply these products essential to the operational performance of the Army", guarantees the Public Relations department of the Army.
The 19 tests purchased from Wild Planet are intended for military personnel from the seconded national forces and seconded national elements, for a “quick detection of the existence of antibodies to Covid-2 and the decision of possible isolation measures”. On the other hand, FFPXNUMX masks are also intended for military personnel on international missions, as well as elements related to military health and decontamination teams.
On April 7, at a hearing by the National Defense Commission of the Assembly of the Republic, Defense Minister João Gomes Cravinho said that, despite the 57 cases of Covid-19 in the Armed Forces detected so far, he had not been infected among those who were on missions outside Portugal. “As for the Detached National Forces, the Iraqi Force has returned, the Sagres School Ship is also on its way to Lisbon and arrives in mid-May. The other Outstanding National Forces are doing well, with protective measures against the disease, but without any case to report in terms of infections ”, he said.
Wild Planet will maintain new business area
Wild Planet, whose only public contracts registered on the Base portal until the beginning of the pandemic, merchandising of customized soft toys with the mascot of the Water Pavilion and a plush replica of the Viva robot for the Knowledge Pavilion, highlights that the sale of Covid-19 screening tests and personal protective equipment was directly related to the impact of the pandemic in its main activity.
“Taking into account the declaration of a pandemic decreed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the need for confinement and the closure of commercial activities, management was forced to find new commercial solutions that would allow the mitigation of this crisis and the maintenance of posts work, ”said Wild Planet co-founder Pedro Kleinsteuber in response to questions sent by Jornal Económico.
According to the same official, the Army's General Staff (and other public and private entities) were offered the products “that were essential to our country, given their scarcity in the national market”, in a presentation that “occurred through normal government channels of marketing, the products having been awarded taking into account the price and, above all, the delivery times ”.
“We also found that the personal protective equipment needed for the front line of our hospitals was not arriving, there were no stocks, and it was the private sector that managed, through its suppliers and international contracts, to mobilize the market and bring the protective material to our hospitals ”, defends Pedro Kleinsteuber, adding that Wild Planet,“ with its vast international experience ” , ensured the delivery of the equipment in short terms, which “in the full state of emergency always constitutes an asset in the award decision”.
The Covid-19 tests sold to the Army's General Staff were purchased by Wild Planet in Europe, while the FFP2 masks originated in China. The person in charge of the company guarantees that the former are “properly registered”, while the latter are “properly certified”.
Pedro Kleinsteuber also says that the health area should remain among the company's priorities. "Wild Planet will always continue with its main activity in the production and marketing of soft toys, but due to the situation created by Covid-19 in most of the toys sector, we will choose to keep this business area active".
No official website, Wild Planet, which was founded in 2008, announces to visitors “that it designs, develops and manufactures animal cuddly toys for zoos, oceanariums, museums, supermarkets, gift and toy stores around the world”, having available more than a dozen collections and more than 600 references.