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Minutes from Director’s Meeting 22nd June 2018

Board Meeting – 22/06/2018

Matters arising

  • The importance of timely dissemination of info and minutes was noted
  • Project proposal and enquiries forms for website still require addressing
  • Toddler group numbers have improved and therefore the sessions will continue (in term time only).
  • Various security measures and signage for the farm are in development

Area reports:

There were no significant issues to report in any area of the farm. The farm finances continue to improve and shop and café sales have continued to increase with May figures showing significant growth on the April figures.

Café staffing: Mark Hampson will be starting as café manager on 17th July. A second candidate was also highly suitable but unable to start until October, at which point the café may be in a position to afford 3 kitchen staff. There is also a need for recruitment of front of house staff. This will be considered by the board imminently. Cafe opening times will be changed to 10-3 on a trial basis to reflect the greater footfall from 10-11am compared to 3-4pm.=

Vegetable shop: It was agreed that Martin Atherton will be paid one day per week to manage the vegetable shop on a two month trial.

Events expenditure: It was agreed that a budget of £500 would be allocated for community events, to be managed by the board member designated for community events at the meeting of 13th April. All food purchasing and catering supplies for the event will be referred to the shop/kitchen and not included within this budget.  

The board fully supports the community events and events committee but noted that a board member is designated to the committee to facilitate communication between the two entities, and all board members cannot attend all farm meetings. Communication between the two is key.

It was noted that the board is responsible for maintaining scrutiny over the project as a whole, and that the farm is a business with an associated requirement for procedure and consistency. This does not in any way undermine the trust placed in volunteers or staff to act in the interests of the project.

Water provision for visitors: Visitors to the farm can request water by glass or refill their own bottles at any time from the café, and even the classroom or cabin. The policy of not selling bottled water will not be revoked under any circumstances and there is a need both to communicate the rationale for this and also to advertise the alternatives widely. This is consistent with the original Transition aims of the project and also highly topical at the present time. Suggested alternatives are to encourage people to bring their own reusable bottles to be refilled; to acquire Greenslate-branded reusable bottles, and to install a water fountain.

GDPR: A gap analysis has been completed and we are awaiting recommendations as a result of this. IN is the farm’s official contact for GDPR.

Social media management: The cessation of use of Facebook messaging was suggested as it is subject to a number of issues which give a very unprofessional appearance. All official enquiries must be directed through email or the website.

Expansion of orchard: The farm has been offered around 100 free fruit trees (Lancashire varieties) as part of carbon offsetting scheme. A plan will be drawn up prior to accepting these to identify potential location, benefits and resource implications.

Plastic/waste policy:  A definitive farm policy on plastics and waste will be drawn up for staff, volunteers and the public.

AOB

It was noted that planning should begin shortly for the Christmas period.

Next meeting: 13 /07/2018