Sustain / Food Co-ops / Your stories / Setting up a food coop - a personal account
Try, try and try again
Collections all done, now I have some time to reflect on the process as a whole and think how I can improve the next collection. My main issues are to:
1) Reduce time spent on admin
I hope to do this by using google documents, so people can fill in their orders direct to a spreadsheet. This will also mean they can access the sheet to see details of their order and costs. Should save me lots of time sending out order forms, compiling orders and sending details of final order and costs out to members
2) Reduce time spent measuring out the goods
Each item I stock needs it’s own standard measure to take away the need to measure all items each time on the scale. I have managed to compile several now, through a combination of old tupperware and other plastic pots, but need to ensure I have them all for the next collection.
3) Get more members through the collection process at the same time
Removing the need to measure each item on the scales through the use of the standard measures will hugely help this. In addition I am also going to change the layout for collection to have a central table. All the food boxes will be put on this and then members will be able to move around the table measuring their own goods with the standard measures. This will mean many more people can get on with collecting items at the same time. Hopefully members will also know the process more clearly next time too. Their knowledge about which containers they need to use for which item and the size of containers they need to bring are also a key element to the speed of collection.
Finally, using wide neck funnels, like the one Adam made for me is helpful for getting the goods into narrower necked containers. I need more of those and have just come up with what I think might be a useful solution for this. Old milk bottles! Cut in half and the top can become a funnel with a handle to hold it in place. I’ll make a few of these and see how we go with them. Hopefully it will be a great way to reuse these bottles. The bottom half I already use for cloches in my vegetable patch, but I’ve never really had a use for the top.
4) Sort out lighting to the garage
Time to talk to hubby again about how we can do this, but it shouldn’t be too much trouble.
5) Stop chatting with everyone so much!
If I can address these issues and improve the collection speed considerably for next time, well firstly I’ll be amazed, and then I’ll consider how I can grow my group to take on more people. Awaiting feedback from my members now too. Watch this space…
Find out what inspired Phili to start her food co-op journey
Read about the success of Naked Larder and how it developed into a franchise opportunity for Phili
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