Hi, We are gradually gathering more folks in the Belfast area keen to participate in a wholesale order from Suma wholefoods. The first order is expected to be assembled by mid August. Anyone interested in participating please leave a note on this board.
I have set up Richard and Elisabeth Higginson as the moderators of this board, which is also to be used for a Greater Belfast home produce exchange.
Hello everyone! Nice to join the network - some really interesting threads already. I think these networks are so important, in working out together an necessary alternative to an unsustainable capitalist economy. In this transitional era, we are learning the importance of being producers as well as consumers, and the incredible advances in technology means that we can do a lot of this from home.
Home-produce can be anything we produce from home: e.g. fresh eggs, freshly ground flour, bread, jam, fruit and veg etc. But it doesn't have to be food, it could also be music you have produced yourself, or furniture you have made, something you have knitted etc.
Every exchange is unique and depends on what the buyer and seller agree to. For example, I recently approached a friend who sells eggs, and asked if I could trade with a home-baked loaf - she said, how about half a dozen, and I said yes please. So you negotiate the value of your product with the other person.
Check out Just Xchange also www.justxchange.org - this is a type of time-bank without a middle-man. Services are the main commodity for exchange, but you can exchange with anyone in the network. The currency is time, and you have a free overdraft of 10 hours. There is no reason why products cannot be exchanged here as well as services, and the value of the product agreed by hours of time.
On the Suma front we already have an £80 order in from Downpatrick, and with the two or three other families in our South Belfast group we should be able to make that up to a £250 order fairly easily. Hopefully if your East Belfast group can match this & we can meet the free delivery (non frozen) order threshold of £500 that Suma applies to NI. We've spotted quite a lot of things on the Suma catalogue that we already buy here regularly that are significantly less expensive from Suma, not just food but natural deoderants, sanitary stuff, that nice organic Clipper tea, and so on.
The hope is that we can place an order quarterly, and then as the membership grows we may be able to increase the order frequency.
With families/households getting together for this we hope it will extend to exchanging home produce and other collaborative arrangements. I'll check out the justXchange website too.
We eventually organised our first collective Suma order and it arrived earlier this week, and was delivered sooner than expected with no problems. And the delivery firm were great too and liaised with us to ensure we were in.
I will put up a single list of some of the stuff our group bought to give an idea of the savings and the range of stuff available.
Our east belfast members ordered some organic wheatgrain, as they grind their own flour for baking. What a fantastic thing to do and a good deal less expensive than flour!
Furthermore, Caveman tells me that wholegrain keeps longer than the milled flour too. It's got me thinking!
I was thinking about getting a mill but got a shock when I saw the price of them. I don't know enough about them to hand out £200 for one. Do the co-opers who grind their own flour have views on what makes a good small mill and which they prefer?
Hello, I would like to join this group and possibly place an order to Suma with you. I live beyond E Belfast in Comber and have done orders with neighbours in the past though had probs coordinating delivery etc. Perhaps I've missed this one, but could join the next. Thanks BagHat
thanks for getting in touch! you are more than welcome to join - that's what it's all about.
the next order will probably be in november - we're working quarterly until we get the numbers up and can justify a monthly order.
our paper copy of the catalogue is on loan at present, but if you want to start building up (a manual list) of what you need in the meantime just email suma and ask for a temporary login to their wholesale catalogue.
we're already regretting not having purchased more bulk pasta, lentils, etc. at the last order. A lifetime habit of grocery shopping willy nilly at supermarkets and local shops has left us with little understanding of our own grocery usage, so it will take us a while to get our own household's order quantities fine tuned.
if you send me an email using the contact details on
Wednesday may be a little tight but I'll have a word with my other half and see what we need. What way are you working the money? Are you splitting packets or do we need to order whole packets, for example if we wanted say 5kg of rice, and other people wanted enough to take it up to say 25kg do we order a 25kg sack or just 5 off 5kg bags.
No I didn't abondon you I did get very busy with work and I got distracted with a few other things, so something has to give and usually its the forms and other internetty things I do.
I do seem to remember sugesting a forum, its working out well I think, of course its only because we have a few very knowledgeable people on here like yourself, otherwise it'd just be people like me standing around scratching there head wondering what to do ;D
I talked to a helpfull chap from the Suma helpdesk today, I tried to get him to give me access to the online catalog. He told me that the only way to do this is to set me up with my own account, he didn't really want to do this as I wouldn't be actually be using it since I would be ordering through you. He suggested I talk to you and get your username and password for the account, he says this is the way most of the food co-ops work.
For the sake of convenience now I thought it would be better if he emailed me a price list to work from. Hopefully we will be able to work through it tomorrow and see if there is anything we want to order. If there is then what is the procedure for sending the order to you?
i should have warned you not to tell them you'd be ordering through another suma user! once they hear this they are reluctant to provide a separate login.
use their contact form on their site and ask for a paper catalogue and an online catalogue and tell them nothing else!
what their sales folks don't realise is that many suma account holders do not pay by cheque. ours is set up to automatically deduct from our debit card any order placed. you will appreciate that we cannot share the login details for this reason. had we been set up to pay by cheque, or an alternative method requiring suma to confirm our order with us before processing it, then things would be different.