Rice Krispies win the battle for our troops' stomachs
IF AN army marches on its stomach, the Defence Forces will get far - they have tendered for €3m worth of provisions for the next three years.
The latest in a series of food contracts offered on the State's eTenders website calls for everything from ice-cream to Rice Krispies to feed 9,110 soldiers, sailors and Air Corps members at 17 military locations across the country.
The contract for the supply and delivery of dry goods including food and beverages totals €800,000 a year while frozen food comes to €200,00.
Service personnel are entitled to rations at the rate of €4.20 a day - breakfast €1.05, lunch €1.05 and dinner €2.10.
While the dry goods tender details the supply of standard foodstuffs such as pasta, coffee and canned fruit, it also includes cooking wine, though a spokesman said the 150 litres of red and white wines listed are de-alcoholised.
Tobacco products were initially listed on the dry goods tender, but a spokesman said this was a mistake due to products being listed under group codes on the e-Tenders website.
In terms of the troops' favourite foods, Rice Krispies won out in the battle for the Defence Forces' preferred cereal with 1,639 boxes to be supplied per year as part of the tender in comparison with 272 boxes of Crunchy Nut cornflakes.
Carte D'Or chocolate sauce proved to be the most popular desert topping with our servicemen and women, and szechuan beat tikka masala and sweet and sour to be the oriental sauce of choice.
Popular items detailed in the frozen foods tender included chicken kievs, chicken burgers and frozen bread sticks.
A spokesman said that under the tendering process they must list any ingredients or foodstuffs they might possibly need in order to obtain them from the supplier.
The Defence Forces ration system feeds soldiers involved in security duties, operational deployments, training and intensive exercises.