Committee dictates requirements, but no word yet on possible companies

Students will have to wait until September to find out what the new cold beverage contract for Capilano University will be.

A sub-committee of the Food and Beverage Committee, unofficially referred to as the Cold Beverage Tender Committee, has undertaken the yearlong endeavor of finding a new contract to provide beverages for the University’s vending machines.

The process is still in its early stages, and discussion has centered around how to weight various criteria in the approval process. The committee has spent time creating a Request For Proposals (RFP) that dictates some of the requirements and priorities for a contract. The committee has also devised an evaluation grid in which different factors are weighted differently, such as sustainability, money savings, and energy efficiency of equipment.

Paul Gruber, chairperson of the committee, stressed that sustainability is very important, and they are hoping to find someone who will supply biodegradable bottles. He noted that in the past five years, companies such as Coca-Cola have been working hard to develop sustainability programs.

Gruber adds that bottled water will still be included in the initial contract, since it is currently the best selling vending machine product. However, he notes that Capilano’s Energy Manager, Susan Doig, has been working on establishing a treated water-bottle refill station. Gruber says that “we will not eliminate that idea at all, we’ll work in conjunction with [it].”

So far, former CSU finance manager Richard Honkanen has represented student interests. Gruber notes that he has been a link to the CSU executive committee, who stressed that they hope an eco-friendly and socially responsible company will be selected.

Honkanen added that “we shouldn’t be on the hook for quotas,” as Capilano has been in the past. This system of having a quota of beverages to sell in the previous ten year Coca-Cola contract led to a two-year mandatory extension of the contract.

According to Honkanen, the committee only expects to receive two or three responses to the RFP, which was slated to be sent out on Friday, March 26th. The tender process will close on April 15th or 16th, and the bids will be evaluated by mid-May. At this point, several bids may be asked to make a presentation to the committee. While Gruber stressed that the meeting is not entirely open as they “don’t want it to get out of hand,” he noted that student feedback is welcome, and that students should pass on questions to the committee, and specific requests to attend may be granted.

Questions and comments can be directed to Paul Gruber at pgruber@capilanou.ca.

//Natalie Corbo
news editor

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com