AVA AGM, what happened

On Wednesday June 24 the AVA held its annual general meeting via Microsoft Teams – the first AGM to be held online. Over 80 AVA members attended and with the round table style discussion open at the end of the meeting, everyone had their opportunity to speak and contribute on the top three topics as decided by members.

Here’s what you missed:

• Gillian White, chair of the AVA, welcomed attendees and thanked everyone for their contribution to the industry in these trying times.
• Roger Williams gave a brief description of the accounts stating that 2019 saw an increase in membership, the benefits of the move to Leeds were now reflected in the accounts.
• It was also agreed unanimously that board elections are extended by 12 months due to the business impact of COVID-19. This means that those board positions up for election this year including those of Diane Hunter, Richard Gilbert, Rob Gormley and Stuart Coutts, will be extended through to June 2021. With other positions extended to June 2022.

Before the AGM, the AVA asked members to take part in a survey, outlining their top three topics to discuss at the AGM with the majority of members wanting to discuss COVID-19 and the impact on vending; the growth of cashless transactions and other possible growth areas.

Here are some of the key contributions:

  • Prior to lockdown, many consumers were asking for re-usable cups but the industry and environmental changes have done a U-turn and reverted back to single use cups for the pandemic.
  • Many customers and clients have asked operators for extended contracts and/or payment holidays.
  • As an industry, we need to educate consumers on the safety of vending and why it is safe to use.
  • Many clients have asked coin mechanisms to be removed and replaced with cashless payment devices.
  • Operators have been asked to make deliveries but not be on site and therefore, not filling machines.
  • It was noticed that machines on sites with caterers who offered contactless payments, did not do as well.
  • Thanks to the AVA Census, the industry now recognises that cashless payments including mobile phone payments are increasing.
  • Some of the growth areas discussed by members were PPE sales, fresh food and non-food items.
  • Staff canteens are beginning to close with vending machines and micromarkets taking over.
  • Vending will always be in the workplace with micromarkets complimenting vending.