As we enter 2021 we find the rates of Covid-19 increasing, especially in our local area. The committee response to the emerging increase in infection rates has been to continue with a robust system of monitoring and cleaning. With a continuing view of actioning any improved practices as and when we see fit. We do feel that we are already taking all the precautions to protect our staff, volunteers and customers who wish to visit our store and that we remain as safe an environment to be in as possible. We still continue trading on that basis but will monitor the situation closely and take whatever action is required to maintain that position. To that end we have introduced the UK.GOV track and trace option for those visiting the store and who need to use it.

The new year also brings a new trading arrangement with the EU which will no doubt provide us with challenges in the supply chain, as well as the possibility of increased pricing. I am hopeful that one good thing to come out of the UK exiting the EU will be a shift of buying habits to support our local suppliers and producers more. We do not expect to experience any shortages in the product lines we stock but will need to take a careful look at the cost to us of imported general grocery goods (mostly canned and packaged goods).   

We hope the shop is a welcoming place that people want to visit. For those customers unable to we are continuing our free local delivery service. We are currently investing in improving the service and during January we will be setting up our online shopping system, with a view to trialling in early February before making available to the community at large. This should make ordering for delivery or collection much more like a supermarket experience.

Jo O’Dell Committee vice chair.