2020 AGM – Officer Reports
A trading profit of £342 was made on shop sales totalling £3302. These shop sales were up 30% on last year, mainly as a result of the online shopping facility provided during lockdown.
Rents stayed the same this year, so rental income was more or less the same as for the previous year – £3094 in 2020 vs £3154 in 2019.
Expenditure was down from £2821 in 2019 to £2250 this year, mainly due to our inability to carry out maintenance on the site during lockdown – no skips were hired this year, for example.
As a result of this increased income and decreased expenses, we had a surplus of £1102 in 2020, compared to £242 in 2019.
EWAA Accounts 2019-20
Membership Secretary’s Report
The later half of 2019 was quiet with just three new tenants coming onto the allotments in December.
2020 has been an unusual period. Due to the COVID situation the committee decided not to hold the usual late Spring plot inspections because of the restrictions, which meant that some members were unable to get to their plots because of shielding, etc. The committee also decided to close our waiting list until the new year 2021, as it was very long and there was a very high demand for plots which could not be satisfied at that time.
As restrictions were later relaxed, we carried out the Autumn inspections on the weekend 12th September. This resulted in fifteen reminders about the cultivation requirements being sent to plot-holders, and all except one have responded. The rent renewal notices were issued not long after the inspection, and this has led several people to give up their plots which we are now in the process of allocating to new members.
Eleven new plot-holders have joined the EWAA over the last two months and a further three plots are now available, with people coming to look at them by the end of this month. So the site should be full within the next few weeks.
The waiting list has reduced to nine people, but I am expecting this number to rise steeply in the new year when it re-opens.
Fourteen plot-holders have not yet paid their rent for the new year so we will be contacting them urgently this month.
Many thanks to the committee for all their help – especially Meryl, Jane and Jon.
Shop Officer’s Report
2020 has been a difficult year for the EWAA shop.
Analysing 2019 showed that we had had considerable wastage, owing to not selling all of our live products (potatoes, bulbs, beans, peas), and the honesty approach selling manure and compost from piles on each road, had similarly not broken even.
With that in mind I took the decision not to buy bulk volumes of live product in 2020, instead to buy lesser amounts of goods and sell them in pre-packages amounts.
This approach was a huge success with potatoes, leading to me having to re-order to satisfy demand.
I took a similar approach with compost and manure, buying the largest quantity I thought we could store in the shop, and thankfully this also has proved a success, as we have sold 3 pallet loads of manure and 2 pallets of compost throughout the year.
With the arrival of Covid in March, the decision was made to close the shop, and as it came at the worst possible time, for growers, I attempted to run an virtual service, so the allotment could stay productive. This worked, but was a huge amount of work to keep running safely. I give my huge thanks to all the shop volunteers that helped deliver heavy wheelbarrows of goods direct to plots, to ensure we were all ready for the end of Spring.
With the relaxation of Covid, we envisaged a new normal running the shop. Managing cash had always been a chore for the shop officer and treasurer, and as cash was identified as a virus transferring vector it was a no-brainer to abandon cash altogether, and only take orders via the iZettle. This has proved to be a huge success. Similarly Shop Sunday has changed, to keep the cashier and back-office volunteers safely distanced, wearing masks, and we now have no customers in the shop. This also seems to have worked so far.
Last year (2019) when I ordered onions in September I was told by our suppliers that I was too late, and I should be ordering them in August, to ensure sufficient stocks. Unfortunately personal circumstances have meant I have not been able to commit as much time to the shop in August or September, so I missed the window for investigating and engaging in the same experiment around pre-packaged bags of onions, garlic, beans or seeds. As such EWAA shop will not be stocking live products this autumn. I had hoped to find a source of pre-packaged goods such that we could sell them at a price comparable to the £1.99 per bag of 50 onions or 3 bulbs, I paid at a local garden centre personally.
Looking forward to 2021, I intend to order pre-packaged Potatoes similar to last year. Last year I personally had Blight in my Nadine Potatoes, so I won’t order them next year. The varieties I’m intending to stock in 2021 will be Duke of York, Charlotte, Desiree, Orla and Cara. We sold out quickest on the Charlotte, so I’ll be getting a double load of those.