Fair Food's weekly update: important updates, new seasons produce, news from our farmers and other interesting tidbits.
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Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon but Facebook posts of kittens doing cute things have never really set my world on fire - quite the opposite.   However this post of a tiny Fair Food box created to go inside a dolls house built out of a full sized Fair Food box had me throwing off my wet blanket and letting go an,  Awwwwwww that is toooo cute! so loud you could hear it for several suburbs around.  Thanks FB friend Brave New Eco for melting my curmudgeonly heart.

The Long and Rewiring Road

Every Friday at my kitchen table in Brunswick East I sit in front of my laptop for a regular  meeting about our new webshop with Jay Good, Delivery Biz Pro's project manager.  Jay is also sitting in front of his laptop at his kitchen table in Tullahoma,Tennessee.  Last week while he was updating me on the excel spreadsheet we can both see, I could hear one of Jay's son's yelling at his brother in the background.   And as I talked Jay could also hear my son yelling at his best friend while they played Lego in the next room.

Jay and I have been talking like this for months, but apart from his tiny profile pic on his email I've never seen his face. Such is the new ways of working in the world. I feel like I know Jay fairly well now. I know his silences and resigned sighs when I tell him we want something changed to work in a different way.  After 6 months of testing, pulling the new site apart, creating a list of over 100 items we wanted fixed, changed or both, of employing an American project manager who lives locally and is married to a Melbournian to help us translate Australian into American (really, they don't understand us) - after all this Jay has started using the term "Going live" more and more and the never-ending excel to-do list is close to being ticked off.  I thought it was about time for a new webshop update.

If you are new to all this basically this time last year we ran a crowdfunding campaign called Rewiring the Food System to pay for a new webshop solving the major bugbears people had when they shopped at Fair Food.  We found a piece of software called Delivery Biz Pro and it's going to let us do these things;
  • Swap several items out of your set box - so if you don't want pumpkin or something else this week you can swap it for something you do want.
  • Deliver door-to-door 5 days a week - so if you order Sunday you'll be able to get your order Monday or if you order Monday it'll come Tuesday etc.
  • Drivers will be able to send you an SMS to let you know your delivery is arriving - which means you or somebody at home can get your groceries inside quickly.
  • Charge and refund deposits on things like reusable eskies and plastic tubs instead of polystyrene and cardboard ones.
I think I once mentioned putting in a new computer system is similar to building a house - the walls and roof go up quickly but all the little details inside take for ever.  After creating our own webshop front and backend over the last 5 years we've made enough mistakes to know what we want and that it's worth getting it right even if it means Jay thinks we're a pain in the arse.  Soon we'll be asking some of you for your help with some live testing.  Can't wait. 

And speaking of e-commerce challenges - our apologies if you had problems ordering last week - our friends at Securepay (our payment gateway provider) "upgraded" (and I use the term loosely in this case) their system which unfortunately locked out a number of Fair Food customers who were trying to pay for grocery orders.  Anyway Securepay has upgraded the original upgrade to stop this happening and normal service has resumed.  

Bless you Nathan Free  

This time of year people get a certain restlessness as they look forward to the end of work or studying or that first swim in the ocean or holidays in the garden with the murmur of cricket on the radio. This time of year fruit and vegetable sellers also experience a certain restlessness, a kind of helpless restlessness.  For this is the time of year  we stand impotently by as apple varieties fall away, we look on powerlessly as pears and kiwi finish and we stand feebly in the face of banana and orange fatigue.  This is the time of year we look to the heavens and ask quietly, Where are the stone fruit?  We look for signs, we ask the growers, for weeks there are rumours and red herrings and then finally, they come.

That pic above of a young man not quite sure why he's caressing a peach is Nathan Free from Alkira Organics near Lake Boga.  This week Nathan, who is one of organic farming's upcoming stars, is setting us free from our collective stone fruit funk and is sending down organic nectarines which will be appearing in Fair Food set boxes and next week in our Fruit and Veg section.  Bless you Nathan, bless you. 

Have a great week


CERES Fair Food's weekly update with stories from our farmers and producers, Food Hosts, the Fair Food  warehouse and the world at large.


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