Memorandum from the Automatic Vending
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