With over 60 current European directives, either in discussion or nearing completion, likely to impact on the vending industry across Europe, the AVA has a key role to play in protecting its members’ interests and ensuring that the government does not impose unnecessary financial burdens on the vending industry.
By having Brian Tustain as the AVA representative on the Board of the European Vending Association, the AVA are able to identify the important issues likely to affect the UK vending industry and pro actively talk to government before legislation is imposed.
Healthy eating and the importance of a balanced diet is high on the government’s agenda and the AVA has recently formed the Vending Choice Coalition (VCC) to ensure that the industry has its say. Initially the VCC was focused on Wales where the Health Minister (Edwina Hart) has implemented restrictive nutritional standards in hospital vending machines that significantly reduced the range of products on sale to staff, visitors and patients. Members of the VCC include trade associations, brand owners and foodservice organisations, all of whom are active in the vending market. The goal of the VCC is to ensure that consumers have freedom of choice to purchase a wide range of food and beverages through the vending channel in order to achieve a balanced diet.
More recently, the British Heart Foundation has targeted the vending machine in its campaign to encourage healthy eating, despite there being no evidence to support that it is the cause of current levels of overweight and obesity. In a letter to the BHF the AVA pointed out that the nation has been eating snacks and confectionery for many years without issue and rather than being the cause, the vending machine offers a solution. Vending machines provide choice and the items on sale reflect consumer demand and feature a range of products, including fresh fruit, low fat and low sugar products.
As the debate continues, it is interesting to note that recent studies by the National Heart Forum found evidence that the rate of childhood obesity may be starting to slow and the reported projections had been greatly exaggerated.
Its figures suggest that by 2020 the proportion of boys aged 2-11 who will be overweight or obese will be 30% – not the 42% that was predicted!
For girls the same age the revised prediction is now 27% – down from 48%.
It is well proven that a lifestyle that combines regular physical activity with consumption of a wide range of food choices is the key to a healthy lifestyle.
The AVA will continue to be the collective voice of the vending industry and lobby to protect the interests of its members.
Date for the diary – AVA Members’ Meeting.
The next AVA Board and members’ meeting is on Monday 7 December. It moves to the South East (Campden, BRI, Nutfield, Surrey RH1 4HY) and will be a lunchtime meeting (12 – 2pm).
Jonathan Hilder the new CEO will be there explaining his plans for the AVA along with plenty of other interesting talks.
Parking is readily available and the venue is easily accessible from the M25.