28 Sept 2022

€500,000 to train prisoners as coffee baristas in Portlaoise and other jails

€500,000 to train prisoners as coffee baristas in Portlaoise and other jails

Coffee supplies and equipment sought

An estimated €500,000 could be spent by the Irish Prison services on specialist espresso machines, coffee, speciality teas and syrups for prisoner training in Portlaoise and other parts of the country.

The Irish Prison Service (IPS) has invited bids from suppliers for the supply and delivery of Barista related equipment and supplies. 

In tender documents the IPS explains the purpose of the contract. 

"The IPS seeks to ensure that persons in custody have meaningful and constructive activity, education and training whilst in custody. The supply of barista equipment and supplies to IPS are an essential requirement in this activity," it says.

Lot one, worth an estimated €250,000 will involve the supply, delivery and installation of barista equipment while the second lot includes the supply, delivery of barista related beverage supplies. The second lot is also worth an estimated €250,000 to the successful bidder.

The IPS stipulates that the supplier will be expected to provide comprehensive Barista Training Program for at least four IPS staff with the purchase of each barista machine.

It says this training should ensure users of the specific equipment are trained to a level that all are competent in regard to its functionality, safe operation and cleaning.

The service says there there is an immediate requirement for an espresso machine, a grinder and a boiler.

The tender also outlines the type of supplies that will be needed alongside the equipment. It requires the supply of fresh high quality, Fair Trade certified and sourced from Fair Trade producers, (or equivalent ethically sourced and produced product) coffee beans suitable for use in bean to cup and barista / traditional machines.

The IPS requests suggestions of at least two blends of coffee which would appeal to the average coffee drinker.

It is also seeking the supply of speciality fresh high quality, Fair Trade certified speciality tea that is sourced from Fair Trade producers, (or equivalent ethically sourced and produced product).

Finally a selection of in a variety of flavours are also required.

They tender gives an estimate of how much coffee is currently used in three jails. In Mountjoy Prison 124 cases of coffee were used in 2021 with 50 cases used in 2022 so far. Clover Hill used 77 cases last year and has used 31 cases in 2022. Loughan House used 11 cases last year but has used 15 cases in 2022.

A case of coffee is a 5Kg case divided into 5x 1kg bags.

The IPS says the initial contracts will be for a period of three years with an option to extend for a further by a year.

Companies have until September 29 to bid for the business.

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