Germany-based Condomi is short-listed to become the UN's preferred supplier of condoms for its worldwide projects. The contract could see the company provide 120 million condoms a year in the fight against AIDS.
Condomi hopes for UN approval on its packet of threes
With an annual distribution volume output of 500-600 million condoms a year, the United Nations is the world's biggest customer of barrier method contraception. To be one of the United Nations' preferred suppliers would guarantee a company an outlet for 120 million condoms a year. That's the current target for German manufacturer Condomi.
The Cologne-based contraceptive company sent data and evidence of its quality and production methods last November as part of the process that could end with the signing of a lucrative and high-profile contract with the league of nations organization.
The contract would provide Condomi with a partner that would not only satisfy its socially aware philosophy but also give the company an outlet for its ever increasing volume.
Condomi was selling over 250 million condoms worldwide at the start of this year with that figure increasing to 720 million by the end of 2002. Operating in the world market, such numbers would prove problematic when dealing with branded businesses alone.
Long selection process stretches back to Nov. 2001
Since last year, Condomi has been providing the United Nations with details of its production experience in an attempt to prove its claim that it is amongst the world's best when it comes to condoms.
On Dec. 11, a team of technical advisors will arrive to check Condomi's claims. Led by the United Nations head of procurement, Anne Fabiani, the team will visit Condomi's factory in Krakow, Poland, and Erfurt in eastern Germany to carry out tests to evaluate the data provided by the company over the past year.
The UN are looking for the best in condoms.
Once the documented evidence has been verified, the UN team will analyze the results of the participating companies and then offer a contract to four or five, depending on the level and quality of production.
UN contract would provide guaranteed business
Frank Tillmanns, a spokesperson for Condomi AG, told DW-WORLD that the United Nations contract would be a major coup for the company. "Working with the United Nations would provide a guaranteed volume per year," he said.
"In this business, there's some risk dealing with tenders because sometimes you don't get paid on time. But the UN are great payers," he said.
Condomi could rely on a lot of business from the United Nations if selected to be one of its preferred suppliers. Condoms will be distributed throughout the United Nations project framework as well as projects organized by other institutions backed with UN support.
Condomi hopes to add to its UN portfolio in AIDS fight
The contract could bring Condomi's product to the four corners of the world.
Last year, Condomi supplied the Bonn-based voluntary organization, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV), with 100,000 condoms. The volunteers distributed the condoms to projects concentrating on HIV and AIDS prevention in African countries.
Since the founding of the company, Condomi has been committed to AIDS prevention and the promotion of safe sex, working actively in projects all over the world as well as at home as a sponsor and partner of the government-funded organization German AIDS Help (Deutsche AIDS Hilfe).
The company is due to open its first factory in South Africa at the end of next year. A subsidiary in Johannesburg has opened, providing direct products to the heart of the AIDS problem in the country.
Condomi hopes that proximity to the world's biggest AIDS center would speed up distribution and help in the reduction of HIV infections across the continent.