Covid-19 and co-ops

It's great to hear that so many co-ops are reporting an increase in memberships and interest around joining. It comes at a time when most groups are also thinking about limiting interactions between members and the food they're packing. People are finding a balance between the two though, by welcoming new members and putting new processes in place at the same time.

The following information is from The Chewsday Collective, who are a bulk buying group in Brisbane. They've written up some of the new procedures they're using and are happy to share with others. I'm including it here with their permission. Let me know if you want to add more information from your group!

Chewsday in the time of Coronavirus

We all need nutritious food, and sourcing through food collectives enables all of us to be part of an amazing network of food and care. Even - and perhaps especially - in times of physical distancing for everyone's health.

If we can all be careful, and support people to stay at home if sick or needing a drop-off, then our food collective can probably be 'safer than a supermarket', and continue to give access to nutritious foods, and to support our amazing network of farmers, Food Connect & Sovereign Foods.

Keeping everyone healthy:
  • Please do not come if you have any signs of cold or flu (e.g. sore throat, fatigue, fever or dry cough). Regardless of what illness you may have, we all need to be as healthy as we can be, so please take care & recover.
  • If you need someone to drop off your box to your house, please contact the group.
Everyone who comes to Chewsday:
  • Hand sanitiser – please use the sanitiser at the entrance, before you enter (70% alcohol, with moisturiser, no fragrances)
  • Wash and dry your hands for at least 20 seconds.
    • On arrival, and
    • After handling things such as your own phone.
    • Packers please wash your hands several times during your shift, especially following a shift between types of goods, e.g. chilled, dry goods, fresh produce.
    • Hand soap & paper towels are next to the laundry sink.
  • Please greet each other in ways that don’t involve touching (these can be sincere, and/or a time to do something silly and laugh together)
  • Space ourselves out (recommended 2 m, or 'a packing station')
  • Frequently clean surfaces (scales, benches, pens, markers) with 70% alcohol spray.

Modifications to packing:

Packing shifts:
We plan to start earlier, with 1-hour shifts to enable only 1-2 packers to be present at any one time and maintain at least 2 m distance (I think we can maintain distance even with 4 packers, as we’re fortunate that the space is quite large and very well ventilated)

Everyone is being asked to stay home if they have an illness of any kind (and we’re co-ordinating drop-offs to those who can’t pack or pick up)

Gloves / Masks:
Gloves – We haven’t yet decided to supply gloves (reasoning that hand washing should be thorough and frequent anyway), but we’re interested in hearing views on this from others.

Masks – could be worn to reduce possible transmission of droplets from the wearer to others, by catching any droplets from speech or exhaling. For this purpose, they wouldn’t need to be N95 graded (which protects the wearer from inhaling tiny particles), and accessing even basic surgical masks appears to be difficult in most areas. Any clean covering of the nose and mouth should help to protect foods from being breathed on, provided it does not lead to anyone touching their face more often (to adjust etc), which itself would increase risks of transfer via the hands.  Perhaps masking could be suggested on the proviso that it is comfortable and doesn’t require any face-touching while wearing?
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Do you live on the north side of Brisbane? Interested in joining a bulk buying food community? Come along and check out Windsor Food Collective next Wednesday!

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Invoices Page Overhaul

Regular users of the invoices page in Lettuceshare would know that as their members list has grown longer, this page has become harder to use. Instead of just trying to fix some smaller problems, it was decided an overhaul was necessary.

When the invoices page first loads, it now lists purchases for the current week (depending on your group settings). This keeps the grid more manageable, and is probably the information that you were after anyway!

The responsibility of listing all members is now left to the accounts page. It is also able to display balances, and that is now the only place to find this information. The invoices page also had a button to download member history, this functionality has been moved to the accounts page too.

Changing the way the invoices page works means there's now lots of new features to play with! Here's a screenshot of the new page:

The form at the top of the page means you can now search by username, date or invoice number. Full names will also auto complete and can be used to find a username.

When you first load the invoices page, you might notice that some rows in the grid have an invoice number of 0. This means an invoice has not yet been created for these purchases. Clicking on that row and then clicking send will create the invoice and return an invoice number which will be added to the grid. You can also send multiple invoices at once by selecting multiple rows in the grid.

You can also edit the email address of a member in the form, if you would like to send their invoice to another email address. (This is only done once, it doesn't change the default email address for the member.) Clicking on Search between start and end dates will reveal more search options, including a quick search menu to fill in search dates for the last month, 6 or 12 months, or the previous or current financial years.

One last feature to mention, the remove button will not only remove an invoice from the system, but also the associated purchase data. This saves having to visit the manager page to perform the same search. I hope this page is now easier to use, but please let me know if you have any feedback.
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Stock Markup Columns

Ok last update for the week! If your group uses wholesale or retail prices (available via the group settings page), you can now view the current markup percentages for all your products on the stock page.

To do this click Edit Display, and you will see new Markup checkboxes depending on which of the price options you're using:

Clicking these checkboxes will add new columns to the grid, just like the other options. The difference with these two options though is that they calculate the current markup from the prices in the grid, they don't store any data.

Other than that, they operate just like any other cells in the grid. You can filter and sort by markup, and you can edit the markup to change the price. You can also select multiple rows and update the markup for the selected products, so that each product gets a new price based on it's cost price and the markup you've just provided.
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Shared Stock Images

Yesterday I wrote about a new ordering mode that includes pictures next to product names. Today I want to run through how your stock team can use some new features on the stock page to upload your own images. When you take a photos of your products and upload them, they will be visible to your group straight away, but other groups will also be able to use them for their own products.

The first step is to go to the stock page and click the Edit Display button at the top of the page. A dialog will open like the one in this screenshot, click the Image checkbox to add the Image column to the grid. When you click an image in the grid, a larger version of the image will be displayed along with options to Edit and Remove the image.

Click Edit to browse all shared images. A new dialog will open which will allow you to select from existing shared images or upload new ones. When you click the Browse button, your web browser will allow you to select one or more files from your computer. When you close that window the images you selected should start uploading automatically. If they don't you can just click the upload button to get them started. When an image has finished uploading it will appear in this dialog as the first image listed, so you can then select it.

When you want to update a product with an existing image, including those you've uploaded previously, you can use the search bar to find it. There are quite a few shared images uploaded already, so you can use the search field to reduce the number of images displayed. Just start typing and only images with a file name that matches your input will be displayed:

Once you've found the image you want to use, click it to display the buttons as shown above. You won't be able to rotate or remove shared images, so the only button you want to use here is the add button, which will apply this image to the product selected in the grid.
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Lettuceshare is all about food, but until now the ordering system has left that up to you to visualize!

That can now change, with the introduction of a new format which displays product images along side names in the grid:

This combined grid format includes the price and units, as well as the grower or producer information which was previously displayed at the top of the page. If your group uses pack sizes in your stock list, then quota information will also be displayed in the grid:

The coloured box number to the right of some products is a short hand for the full quota information that is shown at the top of the ordering page. Red means under 20% full, orange is under 50% and green is over 50% in the first box. Anything over the first box will also be shown in green, because you have at least met the quota for one full box.

You will also notice that not all products in the screenshot above have pictures. That's where you come in! If you would like to see more product images in Lettuceshare, please take photos of your produce when packing and get them to your stock team. They can now upload images on the stock page, which will also make them available for other groups to share. I'm hoping this will be a collaborative process, so we can all do a little bit to make Lettuceshare look great!

If you would like to start using the new grid format now, just go to the settings page. You will see the settings page in the menu in the top right corner, when you're logged in to your account. From there you just need to click Combined Format in the Purchase section:

If you would like to make this the default setting for your whole group, just get in touch! (maybe after discussing it with the rest of your group first...)
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Welcome Cooran Food Collective

Welcome to Lettuceshare, Cooran Food Collective!

This is a new buyer's group started by Alison Dillon and other volunteers in the Cooran area (located between Gympie and the Sunshine Coast, check it out on the map!).

They have been operating for a few weeks now and place a weekly order. If you know anyone who might like to join you can direct them to their sign up page: https://lettuceshare.org/cooran
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Manager and Payments page editing

A small update this week, but useful for those doing the admin work looking after their groups. The manager and payments pages now both support inline grid editing.

On the manager page, once you've done a search you can edit the quantity field in the grid. On the payments page you can edit both the comment for a payment and the amount. Below is an example from the manager page. (p.s. definitely excited about trying Barambah's new cold pressed coffee this week!)

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Stock Page Updates

Today marks one year since the last set of changes to the stock page in Lettuceshare. It appears to be working pretty well for everyone now, but I've received plenty of feedback and ideas since then so thanks for your input. I've just rolled out some changes based on that feedback, which simplifies a few things and adds a few new features. This post will go into detail about those changes, which affect both the stock page and the accounts page.

The first thing you will notice is that there are a few less buttons. Using the full width of the page seems like a good default for these pages, so a button to set a wide grid isn't required (though it can still be shown by going to the settings page).

We've also found that the way extra columns were added to the grid was a bit hard to use, so the column checkboxes are now found in the new Edit Display dialog. This dialog also sets the type of data that is loaded into the grid. When you change these options, the grid updates automatically. The type of data shown previously depended on which columns were displayed, which was a bit confusing. The columns displayed and the type of data are managed separately now, and you will notice a message at the top of the page explaining what data is currently displayed.

Profiles are now easier to manage on the stock page too. There's an option at the bottom of the Edit Display dialog to save the columns you've just selected as a profile. There was previously no option to update your current profile, so this has been added. Profiles will now also remember your column order, so if you have a stock page layout that you really like to use, give profiles a go! (If you're wondering how to re-order columns, just trying clicking a column title and dragging left or right to the other side of another column.)

There's also a couple of new special key combinations you can use in the filter row. As well as string matching, you can now filter by numeric values. A filter starting with the less than symbol '<' or greater than symbol '>', will filter by the value you provide after it. For instance, here's an example listing everything under $5. One last thing: the filters are also applied on the server when downloading files. So the data you're currently looking at on the screen is what will be provided when you click download.

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Pretty happy packing my first box of the year tonight! Hope everyone is enjoying starting the new year with their co-ops and bulk buying groups.
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