FarmDrop webinar questions 1. Will we not be able to start up our FarmDrop until we have at least 40
members? So we need to prove to you we have those before we can launch? It’s crucial that each FarmDrop has a critical mass of participants - those buying and those selling food - before your FarmDrop starts trading. In this construction phase 40 is the minimum number if rural areas, but it is 60 in urban areas and 100 in London. You don’t need anyone before construction starts - everyone will start with 0 members. And will set themselves between 2 and 8 weeks to find their initial group. 2.
Did you pilot any rural farm drops?
No - but we are sure it will work. A combination of closer proximity to suppliers and the amount of interest we have received convince us there will be just as many rural FarmDrops as there are urban FarmDrops. 3.
Will we need to vet the producers that join us? if so how?
FarmDrop oversee the formal vetting of the documentation that each Producer needs to submit (e.g. food safety certificates, product insurance). We will be recommending at least one visit to each Producer - if nothing else to help you build a relationship and understand your Producers’ needs. 4.
Do each of us need a food safety certificate or do we need one as a group?
As the main Keeper you will need a level 2 food safety certificate. Anyone who is working for you - if you are away one week or if you have help on the day - should have a level 1 certificate or equivalent knowledge, but we do not ask for you to submit this information as it will depend on their role. We can also offer a guide for you to bring that person up to speed. 5.
How do people pay? in advance or on the day?
All payment is made via the web site in advance. The funds are held in e-wallets and do not come to the FarmDrop bank account. Once the FarmDrop has occurred the funds will be automatically transferred to the different participants’ e-wallets. You will be able to take the funds out when you want. 6.
Will we be able to offer discounts to members for bringing others to the table "recommend a friend”?
We will have referral tools that credit a Keeper and/or Member for bringing new Members to a Drop. In time we will offer Keepers tools to incentivise Members to bring more of their network into the fold (e.g. you waive your 10% on the first shop of a new
member). But there will be no compulsory tools here - it will be your decision how you use these tools. 7.
Can we recruit suppliers of artisanal alcohol?
Yes, definitely. We just ask that the Member who picks up alcohol is over 18 years of age. And we’d suggest - unless you have a particularly dedicated FarmDrop - that they might be a Guest Producer, who attends on a less frequent basis. 8. I have already applied online - when the does the interview take place? Once you have applied you will receive an email to say we have it - and a further email to say we have checked the docs. At this point you receive a link to a diary - and you can book a time that works for you. 9. Do you think this would work in London?
Re:- connection with producers?
13. What happens if 2 keepers are in the same town? (smaller town, not cities likes Manchester, Birmingham....) - how is competition monitored? We donâ€™t have a specific distance between FarmDrops, but we will not open FarmDrops near to one another unless we feel they are able to 14. How is Farm Drop funded? Our initial funding has come from our friends and family. Our plans for future funding are to use crowdfunding: we want the users of the platform to own it. 15. Food / Drinks drop: Do the farmers drop the goods at the venue or does the keeper need to pick them up at the farms? The farmers and producers bring the food to your venue. And they are typically responsible for distribution. Some farmers - and we want to encourage these efficiencies - will deliver and distribute for one another. This makes their involvement even more viable. 16. I am based in a rural area, but it is predominately meat producing, 30 miles is not problem for meat, but for vegetables this limit could cause a problem. Can this be managed by exceptions? Our policy is to look for food that is as local as possible. And we do have some specific and stringent guidelines on distance. If there is no supply within that distance then we will allow you to bring it in from further away. 17. Who supplies packaging? as producers will deliver in bulk and keepers will need to re-package. The way FarmDrop normally works is that the producers are at the FarmDrop and distribute the goods themselves. It is possible for you to have an arrangement with individual producers or groups of producers where you package and distribute yourselves, but the onus will be on the producers to provide the packaging. We supply details of packaging providers on the site and we will also allow Members to buy custom designed and durable bags to pick up their shopping from a FarmDrop. 18. When will farm drop be properly launched and promoted? The first FarmDrop communities will launch and start construction - finding sufficient numbers of Members and Producers - from 15th March. We have a number of press events to raise awareness among the general public and through publications relevant to farmers and other food producers. Much of the construction will be very localised, which is why this is a key part of the Keeperâ€™s remit. There will be tools we provide you and Members to grow your community - and we will also, through targeted online advertising, assist this with the early FarmDrops. 19. Who is responsible for issues if the producer doesn't meet the needs of the consumer? cost/quality/qty etc?
The open nature of the platform will allow individual Members buying food to decide and discuss whether their needs are being met. They are also able to have an open dialogue with producers on their range, pricing etc. After a FarmDrop the community will also have the tools to review the quality of what they receive. We believe that this open dialogue will help all participants find a range of Producers and products that match their expectations. And if there are legitimate problems with a product then the Keeper will be able to sanction refunds on behalf of the Member. 20. Can we login to a demo site before committing to the whole process. We can take you through a lot of the process online in demonstrations and one to one sessions. These should demonstrate the full range of functionality. We might look at setting up some dummy drops to help you get a better feel for how everything works, but to start a FarmDrop for real you will need to go through the application process and start your own FarmDrop. It is incumbent on us to prove the functionality and assure you of its efficacy. 21. What can we take to producers to encourage them to sign up? what marketing packs do you have? We have guides on being a producer - and further details in our help area to provide them with answers to specific questions. Plus their initial sign-up comes with no obligations. This should help them get a feel for how it works, the level of demand and whether or not they are able to fit into the FarmDrop model. We will be on hand to take producers through similar engagement programmes - with seminars, resources and details on how FarmDrop works for a Producer.
Questions asked by attendees of FarmDrop's February webinars on setting up a FarmDrop.