Important: Shop Opening late and other changes

Thursday 26th March 2020

30th March 2020 For the lastest update see below: This Week’s Bag

I’m sorry to say it that the current crisis is making it very difficult to operate. Our suppliers are having difficulty getting produce and getting it out. We have twice been hit by late price rises that have come after we set prices in our webshop, have been forced to drive to the wholesalers to pick up produce and had many Items that we order not turn up necessitating hours of work refunding overcharges. At this time of year we have very lttle of our ownproduce so are reliant on our wholesaler who sources from local, national and international organic growers.

As result we have had to take the following actions:

  • The shop will not now open till Monday 12 noon, this still gives you 38 hours until Tuesday at 8pm to make an order or amend a subscription.
  • A Temporary (hopefully) price rise. This is likely to be £2 for a large bag and £1 for a small, final decision to be made before shop opening. We will try to withdraw this if and when wholesale prices drop.
  • Restricting the range we sell. We will try to only list items that have fairly certain supply, in these difficult times that is not going to be easy and I sure some things will still not turn up but hopefully we can reduce the disappointment and administrative work of refunding.

Finally bear in mind that we are small organisation with no full-time staff. We are always stretched but now more than ever to minimize the un-paid work our staff are forced to do please:

  • if you are not ordering and paying at checkout either set up a direct debit or actively manage your account- check the balance and make payments regularly, ideally we will have everybody moved over to card/direct debit payments as it saves us a lot of administration and makes sure your account is always in balance.
  • Get your orders in before the deadlines, we cannot accept late orders, if we have occasionally in the past we cannot any longer.
  • If you have trouble with technology get someone to help, there are probably lots of people with time at the moment but we aren’t those people.

Thankyou very much for your support and patience in this crisis, hopefully things will even out a bit in the coming weks right now it is all a bit crazy.

And sorry for the lack of Welsh in this communication, as a learner it takes me a long time to translate my messages, mae’n ddrwg gen i.

Welcome to Banc Organics!

Banc Organics is a community supported food scheme which grows Organic* vegetables and fruit in Bancffosfelen and distributes them locally. We deliver weekly Organic fruit and veg bags to a pick up point or to your door. We started in winter 2009/10. Much of our work was by volunteers and we grew from a band of enthusiastic amateurs to a much admired professional growing outfit. In 2020 we are relaunching as a new Community Interest Company (CIC), Gwendraeth Organic CIC our customers will be able to be members and have a vote in decisions and for the board of the company, effectively they along with the workers will be the owners as it is with the Co-op.

We are now a very experienced team and are proud of the business we have built and the systems we have developed to grow vegetable with minimal impact on the environment. We are excited by the opportunities that we have as a relaunched enterprise to make a bigger impact for the better for the environment, local community and economy and to the quality of the food that you eat.

∗ Our produce is registered Organic with the [Biodynamic Association]

BIG NEWS: We will be delivering to a hub in Swansea from the beginning of March. You will be able to pick up bags from the V-hub (Cool Beans) on Craddock St.

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In This Week's Bag

Monday 6th April

Firstly, apologies for the late arrival of this update. We live in interesting times and are still getting organised to meet the ever-increasing demand for our veg. Also, no Welsh I’m afraid. I’ll have to leave that to Martin.

Although we are now well into the hungry gap, we still have our own leeks, a limited supply of chard and spinach and rhubarb is still coming through. We are also offering mixed salad from another small local grower. Premium bags this week will contain the usual potatoes, carrots, onions and leeks and possibly our own rhubarb as well as bought in veg such as salad, butternut squash, broccoli, green kale tops, Jerusalem artichokes or sweet potatoes. I’d appreciate feedback on the artichokes - I love them but not sure how popular they’ll be!

We are continuing to make free home deliveries for people who are self-isolating. Don’t forget to get your orders in by 8pm Tuesday for delivery on Friday.

Please still return boxes our delivery drivers are being very careful about hygiene and the best advice is that the COVID virus can only survive for 2 or 3 days on surfaces so we feel reuse of these is safe and justified. However always observe hand hygiene when handling items entering or leaving your home.

COVID-19

As for everyone this crisis means a lot of challenges. As a food production and delivery enterprise we have a vital role to play keeping everyone safe and fed during the pandemic. PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING-

  • -If you have to stay at home because of infection or susceptibility you can claim free home delivery at checkout of the webshop, please use this facility rather than endangering yourselves or others.
  • - we have tighten our hygiene procedures, and taken what measures we can to avoid contamination. Please do your part to keep safe.
  • -We are suspending the reuse of packaging apart from the boxes and bags you delivery comes in. All our other packaging is biodegradable and the bags can be disposed of you domestic compost.
  • -Home deliveries- Delivery drivers are instructed to ring/knock and leave the delivery at your door or in your specified safe place. Please respect you distance from them.
  • -Hub deliveries. We are continuing hub deliveries for the coming week but will keep this under review. Please observe scrupulous hygiene when picking up- wash hands before and after. Some of the hubs are at people homes. They will be instructed not to take bags in, so pick up your bags on promptly and respect their safety.
  • -We are experiencing unprecedented demand, please be patient if your deliveries are a bit later than normal. We will close the shop early in the order cycle to new customers, to protect the interests of our existing customers, if it looks as though demand will exceed our capacity to deliver.
  • -We are an open, community organisation your suggestions and input are always welcome- now more than ever.

CYFLWYNO AM DDIM I BOBL HUNAN-YNYSU./ FREE DELIVERY FOR PEOPLE SELF-ISOLATING.

Os ydych chi’n hunan-ynysu, wedi’i gyfyngu i’ch cartref oherwydd y firws COVID-19 ac yn byw yn ein hardaloedd dosbarthu byddwn yn danfon eich archeb o gynnyrch ffres organig i’ch drws heb unrhyw dâl ychwanegol.

Fel menter gymdeithasol gymunedol, rydym yn teimlo y dylem wneud ein rhan yn yr amseroedd anodd hyn. Felly os ydych chi’n gyfrifol yn gymdeithasol byddwn yn eich cefnogi i roi danfoniad cartref am ddim i chi.

Beth allai fod yn well na ffrwythau a llysiau ffres i’ch cadw’n iach ac er na allwn hawlio unrhyw bwerau iacháu gwyrthiol o’n cynnyrch organig ar gyfer afiechyd, rydym yn sicr na all fod yn beth drwg i’w fwyta’n dda. Rydym hefyd yn teimlo bod pwysigrwydd cynhyrchu lleol a chadwyni cyflenwi byr ar gyfer ein hanfodion yn fwy amlwg nag erioed.

If you are self-isolating, confined to your home due to the COVID-19 virus and live in our delivery areas we will deliver your order of organic fresh produce to your door for no additional charge.

As a community social enterprise, we feel we should do our bit in these difficult times. So if you are being socially responsible we will support you giving you free home delivery.

What could be better than fresh fruit and vegetables to keep you healthy?

Whilst we can’t claim any miraculous healing or protective powers from our organic produce, we are sure it can’t be a bad thing to eat well. We also feel that the importance of local production and short supply chains for our essentials is more obvious than ever.

Iachus da/ good health!

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Contact Us

  • Email Banc Organics
  • Specific enquiries about deliveries and orders (answered Tuesday and Friday) 07530 786838
  • You may also contact us through our Facebook page.

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Our Produce

Almost all our produce is certified organic, occasionally we’ll have something from a local producer who is too small to afford certification but we’ll clearly indicate this.

The scheme runs all year round. As much of the produce as possible is grown in Bancffosfelen, although we do buy in some organic vegetables if the need arises. This year due to losing land and having to relocate we may not be able to produce so much. We ask that you support us through this period because when we are up and running on our new site and have re-erected our poly-tunnels we hope to be producing more and better than ever.

We are buying some produce this year from a local organic grower Frank who is only a few miles away.

Anything we can’t supply ourselves we buy in from Watson and Pratt who supply high quality organic produce, so we can supply bananas and oranges and cucumber in February if you want!

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Eliminating Plastic. Dileu Plastig

We have been wanting to eliminate the use of plastic bags for some time, it has always been an issue for us. It is difficult to solve as many of the leafy and other products we supply will not last until they reach you in hot dry weather, paper bags don’t work with wet vegetables and much of our stuff is fresh from the fields. We have always tried to deal with this by reusing as much packaging as possible. The reality is though we don’t get as much back as we should and reuse is well below 50%. So with our relaunch we are taking action!

WE WILL NO LONGER USE POLYTHENE BAGS FROM THE BEGINNING OF MARCH!

’Dyn ni’n wedi bod eisiau dileu’r defnydd o f agiau plastig ers cryn amser, mae wedi bod yn broblem i ni erioed. Mae’n anodd datrys gan na fydd llawer o’r cynhyrchion deiliog a chynhyrchion eraill rydyn ni’n eu cyflenwi yn para nes eu bod nhw’n eich cyrraedd chi mewn tywydd sych poeth, nid yw bagiau papur yn gweithio gyda llysiau gwlyb ac mae llawer o’n pethau’n ffres o’r caeau. ’Dyn ni’n bob amser wedi ceisio delio â hyn trwy ailddefnyddio cymaint o ddeunydd pacio â phosibl. Y gwir amdani yw er nad ydym yn cael cymaint yn ôl ag y dylem ac mae ailddefnyddio ymhell islaw 50%. Felly gyda’n hail-lansio rydym yn gweithredu.

NI FYDDWN YN DEFNYDDIO BAGIAU POLYTHENE HIR O DECHRAU MAWRTH!

We will instead use compostable film bags, these are made from plant materials and are fully biodegradable. There have previously been problems with so-called biodegradable bags and they haven’t always worked as they should. However new EU standards that came in recently have improved matters. Will will be using bags made with a film that has the Vincotte ’home compostable’ certificate, these are properly biodegradable and will breakdown in a home compost or in the soil leaving nothing but water, carbon dioxide and the microbes that consumed them.

We will still reuse these if possible but they are not as strong so this may not always be possible. We have been experimenting with different punnets and will continue to do so, we are trying cardboard punnets and also some PLA ones (PLA is a bio-based plastic, it will biodegrade but may not very fast in a home compost). We will use paper bags were we can but these don’t work for wet, muddy produce and don’t keep leaves from wilting very well.

Ond bydd yn rhaid i brisiau godi:

The downside of this is price. These packaging materials are not cheap. As a result we are going to have to put up prices. In fact with the price of fruit and vegetables going up quite a lot recently we were going to have to anyway.

  • So Large bags will go up £1, medium 80p and small 60p.
  • Items that require a plastic bag will go up a small amount.
Changes will take place after next weeks deliveries, from the begining of March onward

We will always try first and foremost to REDUCE and REUSE. But we felt it was long overdue for us to do something more about the issue.

The Team

  • Grower/Manager: Martin Samphire
  • Packing and distribution: Sue Williams
  • Assistant Grower: Will Melrose
  • Board of Directors:
    Martin Samphire. Sian Barlow, Andy Hennesey, Roger Hitchings, Christoph Konrad and Nicky Matcher.
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Shopping and Subscription

Our web-shop on Open Food Network is super-easy to use to order whatever you like. We prefer payment by card at checkout from the shop as it is easiest to administer.

You can also set up subscriptions to have regular deliveries, the easiest way is to buy a subscription bag in the web shop. You can set up a direct debit to pay for them, just follow the instructions at checkout.

Other payment methods can be arranged but you need to contact us to set them up.

If you have problems using the shop, we are happy to help. Be aware we don’t have full-time staff so it may take 2 or 3 working days for someone to get back to you.

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Pick-up points and Home deliveries

We have pick up points at the following locations:

  • Carmarthen - The Nurture Centre
  • Llanelli - Bryn Terrace
  • Kidwelly - Alstread St.
  • Ferryside - Community Centre
  • Bury Port - Tyle Teg
  • Cefn Eithin - Heol y Parc
  • Bancffosfelen - Heol y Banc
  • Pontyberem - Furnace Terrace
  • Pontyates - Community Hall
  • NEW Swansea - V Hub, Craddock st.

If you can’t make it to a pick up point don’t worry- we know people work, have families, busy lives- you can opt for a home delivery. It cost £1.75 and we can leave it anywhere out of the sun and rain.

Terms and Conditions

We reserve the right to refuse deliveries to you and to cancel your account where payment(s) have been withheld. You agree to compensate us in full for all reasonable costs and expenses (including legal costs) in obtaining payments that have not been made in accordance with these terms and conditions.

You Can Join In

Volunteers are always welcome. If you would like to take part, for as little or as much time as you can spare, here is some information about getting involved. If you’d like to find out more get in touch by clicking here and phone or email us.

We welcome comments and suggestions from customers and members.

All customers are welcome and encouraged to become members of the CIC and have a stake in our enterprise. We will shortly be holding a launch event to celebrate our relaunch and sign up members.

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