About the Coop > Information - PLEASE READ!

Ch..ch..ch..changes ...


The coop has become a victim of its own success. We now have so many members that the administration and processing of each order has become more than the volunteer members in Benfeita are prepared to cope with. We don't want paid, we just want to spread the workload because it's too much.

A meeting has been called for the end of this month to discuss where we go from here. Once the membership are agreed on that, then details will be posted on this forum.

After meetings in Benfeita and Coja, it's been decided to split the coop into two groups; one based around Benfeita, and the other around Barril de Alva. Wendy Howard will continue to collate orders for the Benfeita group and Dave Hamblyn is taking this on for Barril de Alva. Each group will be responsible for their own account with Essential and associated ordering and delivery, but will still be part of the wider group. The idea is that anyone can order with either group at any time, but should make one of the two groups their designated 'home' group. Generally, this will be the nearest one to you, but people living between the two will need to choose one or the other, even though you're free to order with either. This is largely for admin purposes, but also so we can be reasonably confident that each group is going to be able to make its 1500 per pallet minimum for free delivery.

The two groups will be alternating their orders so that while each group orders on a 3-monthly basis, there will be an order going in from the coop every 6-7 weeks. As the coop continues to grow, there will likely be a third group forming, in which case orders can go in every month.

With the increased frequency of orders, we'll no longer offer such generous timescales for substitutions for out of stock items or wait until new stock arrives in the warehouse because people will be able to order these items again with the other group within a relatively short space of time.

Julia Nicholson will be getting in touch with all existing members to update their details and confirm which group they want to belong to.

The / exchange facility we offered for the first two years is no longer available - unless anyone in either group has a healthy amount in that they would like to exchange for , free of bank exchange rate spreads and charges, comes forward to offer. (This is something that benefits everyone; both whoever offers the facility and the coop members who use it. Basically we're just cutting the banks out of the picture.) Consequently, people paying in will need to transfer the amount to their area coordinator's UK bank account. Since banks charge transaction fees, it makes sense for people to get together and use one person's account for this purpose, then split the charge between them, rather than for everyone to incur charges.

The next order deadline is November 17th. Both groups will be putting an order in at the same time - we assume everyone is likely to want a pre-Christmas order - and after the New Year we will start to stagger the orders between the two groups.

The forum has now been updated to reflect all these changes.


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