Select Committee on Treasury Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from the Automatic Vending Association

  AVA represents the refreshment vending industry in the UK and Ireland. Our 300 members include machine and component manufacturers and distributors, commodity suppliers (the products such as coffee, soft drinks, confectionery sold through machines) and operators (those who site, clean and fill machines).

  As major users of coin we obviously have a special interest in the work of the Royal Mint. In the UK there are 448,801 refreshment vending machines through which consumers annually send some £1 billion primarily in coin.

  The Association additionally leads an informal group of users of automatic payment systems (including gaming machines, cigarette machines, car parks, London Underground and river crossing toll booths). The combined annual throughput of coins for this group is £20 billion.

  We currently enjoy extremely good relations with the Royal Mint and work together to share knowledge and expertise.

  Our principal requirement is that coins are produced to consistent high standards using best manufacturing practice and trained personnel. We would not wish to see any changes at the Royal Mint which could lead to the addition of extra commercial pressures and cost cutting which could adversely affect the current excellent manufacturing standards.

  High quality consistent coins mean that the industry can set its coin acceptors to tight parameters thus rejecting counterfeit coins. Inconsistent coins result not only in exposure to counterfeit coins but also loss of vends.

  This is particularly vital at the present time when the Treasury and others are planning for the possibility that the UK adopts the Euro with its completely new set of coins.

3 January 2001

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