Main Image - TAG Commercial Development Committee meets to kick off tender season

TAG Commercial Development Committee meets to kick off tender season

The TAG Commercial Development Committee (CDC) met on 6th December in the Loft at UTS to begin the 2018 tender process. In attendance were new committee members Drew Newman from CITSA (ACT) and Clint Wooler from UQU (Qld), plus Ryan Fox (USU) and Andrew Leontarou and myself.  Bryan Hill (Griffith Uni) and Steve Cooper (UOW Pulse) were apologies.

  • From some of the lessons learned from the TAG 2016 tender process It was determined that clearer objectives and communication channels between potential supplier and TAG members will ensure a smoother roll out for future TAG tenders. This will be better driven by the TAG CDC and MD. A timeline for tenders leading into the 2018 CampusLink and trade fair has been done and agreed on. 
  • It was agreed that TAG members will again be asked to commit to tender categories before going to market. This will enable; 
  1. Suppliers to be fully aware of the TAG members they will be tendering for and the potential purchasing volumes from these members. They will still have the potential to sell to more members but will not be assuming greater volumes that what TAG indicates. 
  2. TAG members will need to be more accountable and compliant to tender outcomes once agreements are made with suppliers. While all tenders will still have variable levels of flexibility for each member they will be required to follow through with the tender term of offer once determined by the CDC. 
  • TAG members will have the opportunity to communicate with the CDC members and MD throughout the tender process as need be. In fact the CDC needs this member feedback to ensure the best purchasing decision are made on behalf of the group by the CDC for the member organisations. This will be conducted by newsletters, web site information and interactive webinars/discussions leading into the 2018 Campus link conference. 
  • A TAG member survey of current supplier contracts, product and service levels will be undertaken in the near future to provide some greater data to TAG and the CDC for tender process improvement and execution.
  • 2018 tenders – Below is a list of tenders up for consideration in 2018 with notes on how they are to be actioned as recommended by the CDC. Should any members have question of require more detail on these please provide feedback. 

Category for tender





Tender large volume national supply. Seek artisan suppliers for endorsement.


No Tender

Extend current agreements



Tender 80% exclusive and 60% exclusive

Dairy - Lion

No tender

Extend current contract

Dairy - Parmalat

No Tender

Leave as endorsed supplier



Tender - Revert to 80/20 for best pricing


No tender

Extend current contract and tender late next year for 2019.

Function Wines


100% first pour only

Healthy Snacks

No tender

Category and supplier to be endorsed to the group.

Iced Tea

No Tender

Extend current agreement on 80% ranging. Strengthen support in return


No Tender

Seek fresh and long life endorsement suppliers

Sports Drinks




Additional product categories to be competitively tendered for or become endorsed suppliers for TAG members include; 

  • Sushi.
  • Bulk confectionery.
  • Premade sandwiches.

 This may be national, or regional arrangement depending of supplier capacity and TAG member needs and utilisation over what they currently do now in these product categories. 

  • The current tender documents were reviewed and deemed adequate for the needs of TAG and members clearly stating the objectives of the tender process and the flexibility requirements of such a member based organisations. Contracts need to be managed to enable the required member product and price flexibility of use for members yet also ensure good member compliance for the benefit of suppliers who have committed to provide the members the good value offers that they otherwise would not have access to as stand-alone entities. This will be managed by the CDC with tender reviews and the input from members and suppliers. 
  • Understanding member needs. Current regional endorsed supply agreements will be continue and extended based on members needs and uptake. These include categories like Fruit and Veg, Meat, Gas (Beers and BBQ) supply, Chemicals and others. 
  • Container Deposit Scheme -CDS (NSW). While TAG has sought all supplier pricing increase information for members effective from 1st December 2017there has been little progress made in the effective collection management from the EPA and their waste service/recycling contracted suppliers. TAG and the CDC will continue to seek good campus solution alternatives for CDS for members as they arise or become known. 
  • Identifying new and relevant markets, products and services. Opportunities for greater information sourcing and sharing with TAG international partnerships were discussed. These included greater TAG member liaison with similar US and UK based organisations such as NACAS, NACUFFS, and the like. The TAG MD is also investigation the potential to undertake a TAG member retail food tour of North America to explore potential market opportunities, products, services, ideas for potential uptake in the Australian tertiary campus environment.

Please contact any of the TAG CDC members or MD about any feedback and input you may have for the committee. We are committed to gaining maximum commercial benefit for the TAG membership in terms of price advantage, service quality, sustainability practices and more. TAG will continue to align social student engagement initiatives and potential sponsorship opportunities for the benefit of members alongside any supply agreement when ever possible.

Geoff Brooke-Smith, Activate UTS

Commercial Development Committee Chair