We're all in this together
An important update
We want to reassure you that we’re doing everything we can to protect everyone and to keep things moving in the coming weeks. The first lockdown was incredibly challenging for us to manage, but I am so proud of what the team here were able to achieve. We learned a lot of lessons in the Spring and this experience will help keep things running as smoothly as possible.
All of this has happened with everyone who can, safely working from home, and for those who can’t, we have done a huge amount to make sure that our sites are as safe as possible.
Our teams continue to work tirelessly and with great creativity and ambition to get the job done. I am incredibly proud of everyone here at Abel & Cole, whether they’re on the front line packing and delivering to you, working behind the scenes or putting in place the best working practices, processes and controls to keep us all safe at work, they are all doing a fantastic job!
Thank you for all your support through this period, we really do appreciate it.
Hannah Shipton, Managing Director
We are seeing many more customers buying a much wider selection of things from us. They are not buying abnormal quantities, but they are ordering things from us that they would normally order elsewhere. However, we need to make sure our packing teams are maintaining safe social distancing, which means we have less people actively packing at any time. Our teams are still adhering to 2m social distancing guidelines and are equipped with all the necessary PPE. Everyone has their temperature checked before they are allowed onto the site.
To check what you have coming in your next order click on the Van icon in the top navigation bar on our website. This will show you what you have coming for your next order, plus any future orders. To check what you have on a repeat subscription you’ll see a frequency next to the Van icon by each product in your order. If you have it set to “every week” or any type of weekly frequency, you have it on a set subscription. If it says “One delivery” it is not on a subscription and you will only get it once.
Our drivers & deliveries
We’re having regular briefings with our drivers and continue to uphold the strictest health and safety guidelines, such as regular hand washing and carrying hand sanitiser to sanitise hands between deliveries. Each driver has their temperature checked when they arrive at the depot every morning. In addition to this, all our drivers will wear a face mask when entering communal spaces inside buildings such as offices or blocks of flats. It’s really important that your delivery instructions are up to date as we will continue to use your usual safe place until told otherwise.
All our drivers are told to knock on the door if it’s a reasonable hour, to let you know that they have been, but they will not be staying to chat. We know this may seem a tad aloof but we’re sure you understand we just want to ensure everyone stays at least 2m away from each other.
We’d also recommend leaving your empty boxes out for your driver to collect before they arrive, to minimise the need for contact.
Perhaps one of the things that drew you to us in the first place was the fact we deliver to you in returnable boxes. There is at the very least 48 hours between someone returning a box and it being used again. It’s usually more likely 3-5 days though. However, we’re aware you might also be concerned about when the boxes are delivered to you, not just returning them to us. Our best advice is to wash your hands as soon as you have unpacked your order. It’s for this same reason that our drivers also have gloves to wear and carry hand sanitiser to ensure the absolute best hand hygiene between handling returned boxes and touching new boxes.
The plastic chill liner is not reused if returned but rather recycled, so you could consider recycling straight away at home. Finally, our returnable ice packs are washed by us before being re-frozen. Then it takes at least 48 hours to freeze down, so there is always a minimum of four days before these are reused from when you send them back to us.
We are casting our net wider to get you the best organic fruit and veg available. In the current climate that means that we may need to compromise in some other areas such as packaging and some products, that would usually come loose, may come wrapped in plastic or bagged. We feel that it’s currently more important for us to have enough organic produce to send to our customers so we ask you to please find ways of reusing packaging you wouldn’t ordinarily expect or to dispose of it responsibly. We hope this will be a short-term solution but wanted to give you a heads up.
We love going to see our farmers, producers and potential partners regularly. But to keep everyone safe, we have stopped all those visits for now and are speaking over the phone or video conferencing. We’re speaking daily, though, to ensure we have a clear picture of any product delays and are doing our best to support all suppliers to continue trading where they’ve been impacted by restaurants closing.