Thank you for your patience the last few weeks. We have really appreciated all the wonderful positive messages we have received.
We wanted to put together this blog post to reassure all our customers we will continue to fulfil orders and provide our amazing foods as best we can and at the best possible prices we can during this difficult time for us all.
The last few weeks have been unprecedented and we have quietly gone about our business, shipping as many orders as possible. Even yesterday, Mothering Sunday, our team were processing your orders.
We have not closed our website to orders, as many food businesses have done, to clear the huge backlog of orders. We have doubled capacity overnight, with zero additional resources, and continued to accept new orders. We have removed free shipping but we continue to ship to all remote areas across the UK because we know now, more than ever, those living in remote areas are finding it hard to get the foods they need. We have restricted the maximum order value to allow all customers to get some foods.
Unfortunately we have also received a number of negative messages, and we simply don’t have the time to respond to these right now. We know it is a worrying time for many so it’s easy to vent that frustration at companies and services that are not as they were even a couple of weeks ago. We want to share with you our commitment to you over the weeks ahead and how you can help us so that we can get through these turbulent times together.
YOU CAN HELP BY:
- Understanding the reality of the current situation if you are thinking about sending us a negative message. With the pandemic, these are not in any way normal times for food processing companies. We gave our team the choice, to continue providing our service, or to temporarily stop accepting orders. Unlike other companies, we do not have draconian forced overtime clauses we can trigger. Yet our team voted to continue, and even volunteered to work longer hours and extra days, to get orders out to customers. We are extremely proud of the way our team have stepped up. Workers in the food industry are key workers, just like medical and emergency services. Everyone’s welfare depend on people willing to work everyday in the foods supply chains, along with fuel, transport and other essential services. We are still accepting and fulfilling orders as fast as we possibly can, working long hours and weekends, which inevitably puts stress on our team, who are exceptionally tired.
- Understanding orders will take longer to be delivered than previously. (We are working hard to reduce the lead times). As well as our team working around the clock, Royal Mail and DPD are doing the same and are also essential workers. Please be patient with them as well as us. They face many of the same challenges we are facing. Some processes will not be followed in the same way as they did previously because they are also trying their best to get large volume of orders to customers.
- Understand we will not respond to constant demands for stock and delivery updates, once we have already responded. Our “Join the waitlist to be emailed when this product becomes available” website button is also unreliable at the moment as many items come back in stock and sell out quickly. We are out of stock of many items but are working hard to fill unstocked lines. Where we can’t stock organic we are stocking the best conventional lines we can get.
- Understand food prices are rising during this crisis, we are not in any way profiteering, that’s not ever what we have been or will be about. In a nut shell prices for some foods have increased due to: overwhelming order volumes of key lines, short supply, workers self isolating, GBP plummeting (commodities are usually purchased in dollars), challenging supply chains, some countries not getting shipments out on time, supermarkets buying up available UK food stocks, hygiene consumables rising by 30% or more, teams working longer hours, and extra days to try and clear the huge backlog of orders, to satisfy ever increasing demand. We also have to try and deter those buying at our usual low prices, and reselling at much higher prices during this difficult time. This applies particularly to our bulk prices of 2kg or more and we will bring these prices down as soon as we possibly can once this returns to normal. Unfortunately we expect prices to continue to rise in the short term. However, you will still find 70% of our stock at the same price it was last month and anywhere we can offer lower prices to you in the coming weeks we will.
- Understand packaging may differ to the image shown online. We are packing foods at volume to get them out to you quickly so we can keep lines in stock and available. Therefore we will use whatever bags we have available at the point of packing that we can source. A lot of our range has moved to biodegradable packaging but for a short period may revert to our recycled bags.
- Understanding that every customer service request we deal with, on average, delays three orders being processed, and reduces the total orders shipped per day. This is not the time to complain that your current dried goji berries are harder than the previous batch you got. We have worked magic and have goji berries in stock – ‘nuf said!
- For those that are placing multiple orders minutes part, please stop. The order value limit is set currently to allow as many customers to get supplies. We will start cancelling all the orders of those continuing acting selfishly, even though the process of cancelling wastes time we could fulfil orders. We will increase or lift this limit as soon as we can.
- Please do not order a bulk of stock lines in panic and then tell us you are returning it because you can’t now use it all before it’s best before date. We are honouring our 30 day return service but we can only do this if people act sensibly when ordering. Give it to your neighbours, communities or donate it to your local food bank if you cannot use. We currently don’t have the capacity to process returns for at least 30 days.
- Please be kind and courteous, or at least be calm. Else please be quiet and let us get food orders shipped.
- Please keep sending the positive messages if you have time. Although we likely won’t have time to respond over the coming weeks, the messages are broadcast to everyone in our team, and these messages, genuinely lift spirits, and make us more determined than ever to provide our essential service.
- If you are not willing to follow the above, to help us to help you, then please don’t order from us!
IN RETURN FOR HELPING US, WE PROMISE TO:
- Work as hard as we can, providing our service to as many people as we can.
- In the short term we will focus 100% on getting orders out to customers, providing the best service currently possible.
- Our team have already managed to almost magically double our order capacity with no additional resources, and we will work hard to continue to increase supply, reduce delivery times, and lower prices whenever we can. If we restock and can do cheaper we will pass it on.
- We will support our local communities, gifting food to the most vulnerable.
- We will not bring in new team members on zero hour contracts, just to discard them when things stabilise. All new employees will also be paid the Real Living Wage and above like all our team.
- We will make short term tactical decisions to get food to as many as possible that will not prove commercially sensible in the long term. However providing food and stability is far more important than profit at times like these. We are currently buying in staples we weren’t planning to stock because we know our customers want them right now. Rice for example, will be in store soon.
- We will do all this, not for profit, but simply because it is the right thing to do. We applaud any other food companies, even those considered competitors, who do the same. We have no competitors today during this pandemic, simply fellow key food industry workers trying to do their best, like us, for you!