©European Vending & Coffee Service Association
Paolo Ghidotti, the president of the European Vending & Coffee Service Association (EVA) has written an open letter to European leaders highlighting the “devastating impact” the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the vending industry, and has requested urgent financial assistance for the sector.
According to the EVA, vending operators are already reporting business losses of up to 90%, since a vast majority of employees are now working from home.
The letter is addressed to Charles Michel, president of the European Council, David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, and Mário Centeno, president of the Eurogroup.
The EVA says that while it supports the measures and restrictions put in place by European member states to control the spread of the virus, as 80% of vending machines and coffee machines are located within offices and workplaces, the vending and coffee service industry has been particularly impacted by the resulting fall in economic activity due to office closures necessitated by the outbreak.
In an industry where 95% of operators are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the EVA claims that these losses are not only unabsorbable for a few weeks, but without immediate financial support, many companies “will find continuation as completely unsustainable”.
The letter urged European leaders to implement a range of measures to support the industry, including:
Ghidotti’s concluding statement said: “To summarise, the vending industry is a key channel for the supply of food and drink to consumers, conveniently open 24/7. Crucially at this time, vending machines are often the only available means for healthcare personnel to obtain fresh food (such as sandwiches), a snack or a beverage, all without the need for face to face interaction or queuing.
“However, due to the business model and trends meaning the vast majority of vending machines are located in workplaces, the national restrictions and work from home policies have particularly impacted our industry and already resulted in many vending companies struggling to maintain their previously viable activities.
“The vending industry needs your urgent financial assistance.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020