The extent and manner to which contracting authorities can promote social and environmental goals during a tender process is hotly debated both in the EU and at the national level. A case in point is the Commission’s action before the European Court of Justice against the Netherlands (commenced on 5 May 2010) over a tender for the supply and management of coffee machines to the Province of Noord-Holland. The authority required tenderers to supply tea and coffee with specific labels indicating organic and ethical (i.e. “Fair Trade”) products. The Commission’s view is that to ensure the equal treatment of bidders, a contracting authority should define the relevant sustainable criteria a product must meet. Such criteria must relate to the characteristics and performance of the goods in question (e.g. glass made from recycled material) or production processes (e.g. organically grown). An authority may not simply refer to a specific “Fair Trade” label. In this instance, the authority had stated it would accept comparable labels or products that met the same or comparable criteria but did not indicate what the substantive standards for comparison were.