AVA committed to helping members overcome industry challenges

AVA chief executive David Llewellyn

The Vending & Automated Retail Association (AVA) has reflected on the events of 2022 and highlighted key issues that will continue to impact the vending industry throughout the year ahead.

Following another successful annual census last year, the AVA will be conducting its yearly census over the coming months. This data is vital for the sector, and it is regularly used as a basis for successful lobbying with government, by members as a resource for benchmarking their performance against the overall industry, and by potential investors to understand key trends and assess potential acquisition opportunities.

As part of the AVA’s commitment to providing members with the information that they need, as well as listening to what matters the most to them, the AVA will also be running its member survey again in 2023.

Over the last year, the AVA Environment Committee has been managing and responding to increasing levels of activity within the individual home nations, rather than UK- or EU-wide activity.

This has included engaging with Zero Waste Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, DAERA for Northern Ireland, directly with the Welsh Government, DECC for the Irish Government and – most recently – DEFRA for the English Government.

Alongside this, the AVA Technical Committee is responsible for running the AVA’s engineers’ training programme and is currently working on a new programme which will be introduced in 2023. In order to ensure businesses have the information they need about carbon footprinting, the AVA has produced guidance on how to calculate scopes 1 and 2 of the carbon footprint, with support from the technical experts.

Finally, the Commodities Committee, responsible for keeping up to date with changing regulations related to the sale of food and drink within vending machines, is continuing to flag updated guidance to AVA members.

This includes calorie labelling regulations, promotion of products high in salt, fat and sugar, and the regulations on labelling of foods which are pre-packed for direct sale (Natasha’s Law).

David Llewellyn, chief executive of the Vending & Automated Retail Association, said: “Whilst 2022 was another year of uncertainty for the vending industry, as well as the wider economy, the AVA has continued to support its members and ensure they receive the advice they need to get deal with these challenges.

“Our industry is undeterred by this uncertainty, and we have seen repeatedly how businesses within the sector are diversifying their offerings, both to cope and to ensure they remain at the forefront of what consumers want, securing a strong future.

“With the proposed legislation progressing for 2023 and beyond, the actions and involvement of the AVA will continue to be critical. We are committed to working with our members to ensure they receive adequate support and are not forgotten by new legislation.”