December 4, 2014 – The European Vending Association (EVA) is a not-for-profit organisation, that represents the interests of the European coffee service and vending industry vis-à-vis the European Institutions and other relevant authorities or bodies. This year, the EVA is celebrating 20 years since its foundation in Brussels in 1994.
The origins of a European-wide association for the vending industry can be traced back to the European Federation of Vending Associations (EFVA) which was founded in 1976. This loose network of national associations under the EFVA umbrella was transformed in 1994 into a structured organisation for the vending industry, named the ‘European Vending Association’ and was located in Brussels for close proximity to the European Institutions.
In 1994, Moritz Röttinger was appointed the first Director-General of the newly-formed EVA, under the auspices of President David Hoskin. Three years later – in 1997 – Röttinger’s successor, Catherine Piana, became Director General, and in the following 16 years successfully managed to encompass the whole vending industry under a common umbrella, while also developing the EVA into a widely respected trade organisation to lobby the European Institutions.
Lobbying and EurOps
The decision by the European Union in the 1990’s to adopt a single currency of course brought its own challenges for the vending industry and the EVA. However, one of the EVA’s greatest lobbying successes at this time was to achieve a modification to the proposed design of the new 50 Euro Cent coin to allow better validation by vending machine coin acceptors. This achievement ensured a smoother transition to the new currency for vending machines when the Euro officially entered circulation in 2002.
2003 marked a milestone in the EVA’s history when it organised its own trade event for the first time. EurOps targeted European vending operators, with the first show being held in Barcelona. The last EurOps conference was held in May 2013.
Since 2005, the EVA has been an active Member of the EU Platform for Diet, Nutrition and Physical Activity, and has undertaken a range of successful projects in order to promote and encourage a more nutritious offering in vending machines, yet at the same time dispelling any negative perceptions of our industry.
International cooperation and standards
In 2006, the EVA and the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) of the USA created the Worldwide Vending Association (WVA), with the aim to encompass and encourage all world regions to secure a more global collaboration of the vending industry. While this Association was eventually absorbed into the EVA and officially disbanded in 2011, international cooperation continues to be an important focus for the EVA and close relations are maintained with other vending associations outside Europe, in order to learn from each other and share best practices and common issues. Indeed, the EVA collaborates with other Associations, particularly the USA Vending Association (NAMA), for the issuing of various vending standards.
The EVA launched its EVA Data transfer Standard (EVA DTS) in 1998, followed by the EVA Energy Measurement Protocol (EVA-EMP) standard in 1999, and the Electronic Payment Specification (EVA-EPS) in 2013. The EVA is a strong advocate of having standards that are designed and determined by industry experts in the EVA Committees that can be used by the whole vending industry to promote closer integration and harmonisation.
Market Studies and Expansion
In order to obtain a current and accurate view of the European industry, the EVA commissioned its first market studies report in 2009. This was done in collaboration with Datamonitor, and covered 21 European countries. The report on the European market has now become an annual service provided by the EVA, and since 2012 the EVA has undertaken this valuable market reporting work independently. This detailed report is available for EVA Members for free as one of their many benefits.
In 2012, the European Vending Machine Manufacturers Association (EVMMA) was absorbed into the EVA, which strengthened the role machine producers have in the EVA. The work of EVMMA is still maintained today as a specific EVA Committee, to discuss the issues relevant to manufacturing and to agree solutions.
2013 was a significant year for the Association as it marked a new chapter in EVA history, both in reach and in leadership. An extension of the statutes and scope of the EVA was agreed by Members at the end of year AGM, so that Coffee Service and Water dispensers were incorporated alongside more traditional vending. At the same time, the era of EVA leadership as Director-General by Catherine Piana grew to a close.
The start of a new era
At the beginning of this year, Erwin Wetzel became the new Director-General to help implement this exciting new period for the EVA under the strategic direction of recently-elected President Jan-Marck Vrijlandt.
More information about the EVA and interesting videos about vending machines and the changing face of vending you may find here.