Finally, finally I can bring you the ideas we have been working on for what seems like forever but I think you will find that your patience has been rewarded.
Please read on, take a look at everything, and I am sure I won't have to ask you to comment, good or bad!
We are now in a position to unfurl our new features for you which we feel constitutes a very solid structure for the small artisan businesses to use to take them forward. Consequently we are now going to seek renewal fees from you UNLESS you have voluntarily renewed or joined as a new member since 1 January 2016 to date.
We have simplified the process to just two types of membership a Full Member, who will have access to all of the new features, and that fee will be £50 p.a.
The second type of membership will be an Associate member, which is designed for those who do not need the new features e.g. a home preserver or journalist. This renewal fee will just be £10 p.a.
I am putting this right at the top of the newsletter so that as you work through the various features you can be overwhelmed with the benefits we are bringing you for such a modest cost!
QUALITY ASSURANCE INITIATIVE
We all know that there are commercial products out there masquerading as artisan or hand made products when they are nothing of the sort. They add value by such tactics but still manage to undersell most artisans who have much more expensive ingredients in their product and not so much buying power.
We have devised a separate logo which you will be entitled to use on your products, your paperwork and we will have a variety of display items that can be supplied to you cost effectively. It will also help your customers - farm shops, delis etc, - to understand what they are buying and to give their customers clear information.
Go to that section on the website and read the full details - it is easy to sign up for once you are a Full Member.
FOOD HYGIENE CERTIFICATE
This means that all Full Members have access to a free help-line to deal with HR issues - this is available 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
ELAS are also supplying our e-learning base and the first module on offer is the CIEH accredited Level 1 Food Safety Awareness Certificate. We have this at the very favourable rate of £20 to Full Members - by law the person in charge of the food production must hold the certificate. However, at this rate, it makes sense to put everyone connected with the business through the course.
You can buy the course through the website once you are a Full Member, and we will book with ELAS and send you the link.
We referred the problem of getting adequate cover at a cost effective price, to our local broker, Kevin at Coversure in Stamford.
Kevin went through the requirements of a small artisan preserves maker and has put together just such a package.
You can make your enquiry direct with their office - The Guild makes no commission out of this we are purely doing this as a service.
We are therefore devising a series of webinar modules which will cover the topics of the whole day's teaching in one hour sessions. Each session will have a modest cost to join in and they will be interactive so that you can put your questions and remarks forward. It will therefore be possible to take the whole day in segments and for those completing all modules, a certificate will be issued.
The programme will be published as soon as we have finalised the details.
The courses will be supported by a series of free e-Books, the first of which was issued this week - look out for more.
You can proof before you buy, and once your template is produced and saved you can merrily print as many labels from it as you like, nothing further to pay. All your templates can be stored on the system - in a secure area passworded by you - to make retrieval easy and to free up your disc space.
Your own logo can be incorporated but we will have to assist with that. Again, once in your template it is yours to use.
So, if you are anything like me, labeling jars for a show in the early hours of the morning before, you need never run out of labels and you can print them during the night!
So that's it - I hope that you made it to the end and that you are now saying - "all of that for £50 !"