Calling all local food growers and processors to join a new outlet in for local producers in Totnes
Dear Producers and Processors of local food,
It is with great excitement and aplomb that I can let you know that the Food Hub is inching closer to going live. Over the months since you last heard from us we have been developing the software to create a convenient and easy to use website that allows local producers to upload goods that they have available through the changing season and that allows customers to simply order and pay for their chosen goods online.
We are able to offer the opportunity for producers and processors to sell their produce through the Food Hub (which has been renamed 'Totnes Food Shed, The Hub of Good Grub') and offer training in the use of the software to enable you to upload details of your produce. If you are interested in selling your produce via the Food Shed please let me know via email. All expressions of interest will be considered, our aim is to supply a diverse range of quality local produce.
Below are some answers to questions that you might have. We will send out further details on all aspects of the Food Shed to those of you who wish to consider getting involved.
What are the aims of the Food Shed?
- To provide affordable, quality food, sourced from within 30 miles of Totnes, to local shoppers.
- To expand the market for local produce via an outlet that sells local produce outside of regular shop hours.
- To create a supportive network between local growers/processors and their customers, to be achieved by creating a mutually beneficial cooperative between consumers and producers.
What are the requirements for selling produce through Totnes Food Shed?
- All produce will be produced within 30 miles of Totnes
- All processed produce will use principal ingredients that are sourced within 30 miles of Totnes
- Participating businesses will become a member of the Food Shed cooperative (made up of producers/processor and consumer members)
- Producers will maintain high standards of animal welfare and land stewardship
- Participating businesses will be willing to photograph and upload products and make updates to their items on the Food Shed website (full training and support will be provided, details below)
How will the Totnes Food Shed work?
- Customers will place their order online in advance of a specified deadline, and then collect it on a Friday from the Daisy Children’s Centre at Bridgetown
- Producers will be able to see the final list of orders to be delivered once the customer order deadline has passed
- Orders should be delivered on Friday morning, or by alternative arrangement, mutually agreed in advance with the Food Shed
- Secure payments from consumers will be taken online via PayPal
- Payments to producers will be made by secure monthly electronic transfer
- The Food Shed will take a percentage of the sales cost, to cover administration costs (the exact amount is still to be decided but will be 10 - 15%)
- Producers are encouraged to set the price of their produce below the retail price, but above the wholesale price of their product
- Producers can sell items as and when they are available, ie you are not required to sell items every week, you dictate how many items you have for sale, in this way you manage the maximum quantities of orders that you can receive for any one item
- The Food Shed cooperative, of which producers and consumers are members, will be managed via a steering group of elected members from the cooperative.
Training in using the website
- You will be offered full training and support on how to prepare, upload and manage product information on the Food Shed website. There are 2 options: to help us plan the number of training sessions, please let us know which you prefer:
1) We strongly recommend that you attend training in person in order to get started. We will arrange this at a convenient time. Ongoing support will also be available afterwards.
2) Alternatively, we can send you detailed instructions on all aspects of supplying the Food Shed. This option might be for you if you already have a well established business and are already confident with e-commerce, though we encourage you to come to a training session as models differ.
What happens next?
- Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by July 7th to express your interest in being part of the Food Shed or if you have further questions.
- We will arrange training, which will include how to take and upload good photos of your items, how to manage your items online, how to use the drop off point and how to receive payments.
- We will send you an agreement between the Food Shed and yourself, which you will need to sign and return to us, and we will also send details of your membership of the Food Shed cooperative.
If you have any other questions please contact Holly at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you in the next few days.
Warm wishes from all at the Totnes Food Shed,
Food-Link Manager, Transition Town Totnes
Published: 2nd July