Coronavirus halts UG coffee deal
The previous tender process, which expired earlier, and the current one were both based purely on volume. But now that there are far fewer people allowed in the buildings, the UG can no longer guarantee big sales. Right now, half of the 160 coffee machines in the university buildings are shut down. Some of the DE staff are out of work.
Feddie Nicolai, UG contract manager, says a new tender process is underway. The new tender will differentiate between the fixed and variable costs for the supplier. ‘There will be a price for each machine and a price for what that machine produces.’
This means that, should the buildings go in lockdown again, the coffee dealers aren’t stuck paying for machines that don’t make any money.
‘That also means we have to start thinking more about the capacity of the machines’, says Nicolai. If people at a certain location only drink a few cups a day, perhaps that location would be better served by a smaller machine. ‘Or perhaps those people will have to go to a different machine a little farther away.’
The new tender is still for sustainably produced coffee like Fairtrade and wants to improve the quality of the coffee. ‘Instant coffee will be replaced by ground bean coffee.’
As long as there is no new deal in place, Douwe Egberts will continue to be the UG’s supplier. Nicolai hopes to finish the tender administration before the board of directors leaves for a six-week holiday. ‘We have to put it out there as quickly as possible. After all, we do want good coffee.’