In these unprecedented times we want to keep you all updated on our current position and assure you of our intentions to keep supplies of feeds and other farm inputs available to you all. Below are just some of the actions we are taking.
Key Industry/ Workers
Farmers and the supply chain are quite rightly, designated as key workers, and we need to work together to ensure home produced food reaches the consumer. With this comes some serious responsibilities. We must try to keep production up without compromising the health of our families, employees and those we do business with.
We have seen massive demand for our feeds in recent weeks as many farmers seek to build a reserve stock of feed just in case. We are pleased to supply extra to accommodate this but would not like to think that anyone is stockpiling and we will query excessive ordering to check the needs.
To help protect our ability to supply you with compounds and blends we have taken on additional, temporary storage close to the mill, allowing us to hold higher stocks of key ingredients.
We will be looking carefully at the protein levels in dairy diets as soon as cows are out. We will keep feed price rises to an absolute minimum but will never compromise on the quality of ingredients. It will be as important as ever to keep up production as efficiently as possible.
Staff and Haulage
We are planning for a situation where we have a number of staff off, either sick, self- isolating or caring for household relatives. With this in mind, we appealed for temporary mill staff and HGV drivers and have had a good response and are training several people for both situations. We think we will be ready but would ask you to be help us provide the best service we can.
If possible, please give us a choice of days you can take delivery and if you find a different driver has come with your feed, please give them a little bit more time and information to complete the task.
While always respecting social distancing, our drivers will practice good hygiene and not touch any of your surfaces. Our drivers will not operate any of your machinery, so you will need to have someone available to unload the bags or to see the cake is blown in as you want it. To help you, we will call ahead with an estimated arrival time.
Working with you
We pride ourselves on providing outstanding service and are committed to doing this during the crisis to the best of our ability. Here are a few ways we will be changing what we do.
- Our opening times may be subject to change. We may have fewer people available to take calls so please be patient if you can’t get through straight away
- Our sales specialists and nutritionists will only call on farm with an appointment. When on farm they will carry out their role but without seeing anyone. They will call you after the visit to discuss their recommendations, changes to the diet etc
- If you want pre-cut grass or silage analysis bags, speak to your feed specialist and we will get the bags sent straight to you. You will have to take samples and post them to Trouw Nutrition for analysis.
- Our team will continue to deliver products to you as now, but would appreciate plenty of notice and that as many products are delivered on the same load . A bit of thought may save a journey. We will ask for a place where products can be left to avoid contact between your team and ours, but if anything needs mechanically unloading, your team will need to do this.
Harpers Farm Supplies
We are grateful to our staff for agreeing to keep the store open as normal, our opening hours may be subject to change and we will be operating a slightly different service. Please see our social media pages for the latest information or call the office.
- If possible, please ring the store on 01409 259600 and give a list of requirements and when you would like to collect. We will have the products ready for you. When you arrive, stay in your vehicle and we will bring your goods to you
- If you can’t call ahead, please arrive with a list of the products you need. When you arrive please stay in your vehicle and our staff will meet you in the car park, take your list and pick the items for you immediately and bring to your vehicle.
- We will not be asking you to sign for the goods as it is a further risk that we can avoid.
Please be aware that some of our suppliers are struggling to fulfil orders due to staff shortages and supply chain problems, so we may need to discuss alternatives to products that are not available.
Throughout this crisis our main concern is the well-being of our customers and their farm animals and will do all we can to maintain a high level of service.
If you hear of, or see any situations, where perhaps, a self-employed contractor has lost their income and cannot feed their animals we may be able to help. We think it is critical that our industry stands together as we get through this pandemic.
It is interesting to see, that mankind’s basic instinct in times of uncertainty is to gather food. We will get through this and when we do hopefully people will remember the great efforts that were put in by British farmers, the supply industry, processors and retailers to keep food on the shelves.
We must keep our eye on the ball and continue to do our jobs to the best of our ability and make the most efficient use of our livestock and land assets.