A reluctant piece of news…

It’s been a wet, dark, cold start to the year, we are starting to get a little edgy now as we are behind in our field preparation work, and we will have plants due to go out into the fields in April.

Thankfully we have been busy preparing our tunnels and the first plants went into the ground two weeks ago. We are also continuing to harvest last years crops from the fields which is keeping us busy.

But the main challenge this year is the cost of keeping our business afloat. We have had two major shocks and increases to our cost base; one is in cost of staffing and the other is in transport. There is nothing we can do about either and they are causing concern about how to make the ends meet at the end of each month.

Two weeks ago, one of our logistic partners who we have worked with for several years informed us that they had no choice but to increase their transport costs to us by 57%. To be fair their rates had been well below market cost and their service is first class, but this is still a very sudden and significant increase in cost.  DPD last week informed us of a 4% increase, our Dublin delivery partner just before Christmas announced a 6% increase. All added up we are facing at an increase in transportation costs of over €46k this year. 

Due to the minimum wage increases and other necessary wage related changes, we have also seen our wage cost base for the people we employ here increase by nearly €70k per year! 

Not only that but the price of the produce we source from other farmers is going up as well. We believe this is fair and just, they need to survive just as we do.

Through no fault of our own and totally out of our control, our cost base has increased by €116k over the course of this year, for a business of our size this is a large new burden to bear.

With the backdrop of primary horticultural food producers not being able to stay in business and us not having the deep pockets of the supermarkets or bigger businesses to shoulder these costs out of non existent profit margins, we are left with a difficult decision to make. 

All things being equal how will we pay for these two hefty price increases, this is the question we have been grappling with for the last while?

It’s always with a great degree of reluctance that we introduce any price rise, we are very conscious of putting any more undue pressure on households that are choosing to shop sustainably, it is difficult we know, and it your choices and support that keeps us in business. 

At the same time, we will not be good to anybody if we can’t cover our costs and aim to make a modest profit to reinvest back into the business and farm here. 

We don’t feel we have any choice but to increase our delivery charge by €1, out of which we get an extra €.81c once we pay the government their VAT. 

This will not cover our increase in costs, the costs of the compostable non plastic packaging, the cost of the time and effort that goes into packing the orders (we need a lot of people to pack all your orders, to handle and care and quality check all the fresh produce, to sow, plant and harvest the produce, it all requires people), the delivery to your doorstep and the recollection of the boxes and returning them to our farm. This increase will contribute but we will need to do much more and find efficiencies in our business to keep the show on the road.

I hope you can understand why reluctantly we have had to make this increase and we hope that you will still think that the service the quality and the sustainability of which we aim to always go above and beyond on are worth continuing to give your support to. We would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.

This new change from €5.50 to €6.50 will take effect for orders delivered the week beginning the 15th of April which is in two weeks’ time. Remember you can still get free deliveries on all order over €100.

Thank you for your on-going support.