24th March 2020
Yesterday evening the UK was placed in a state of lockdown with non-essential shops and businesses advised to close and the public told to remain at home. Online businesses have been advised that we are able to continue trading taking into account the safety of staff. As mentioned below only myself and Charlie my daughter are involved in the dispatch of orders and as we both live on the farm and have been remaining as isolated as possible for the last few weeks we are determined to remain open for as long as we are able.
However we have had to make some changes due to the changing circumstances around us. We cannot guarantee delivery dates or shipping times for parcels due to the constantly changing situation both in the UK and around the world.
Please note: We will only be sending out parcels once a week on a Friday. This is partly to help with staffing shortages at Royal Mail and partly to help with the bio-security on the farm, minimising the number of times someone from off the farm will enter. We are due to commence lambing in just a couple of weeks time and it is essential that we are all as fit and able as possible during this time as we will not be able to call on outside help this year.
Thank you so much for your continued patience. Each and every order placed means the world to me.
20th March 2020
These are very challenging times for all businesses large and small and here at Susan Crawford Vintage we are incredibly grateful for your continuing support and are working extremely hard to ensure that all parcels are sent out in a timely fashion whilst employing strict bio-security.
As a high risk, immune-compromised person myself I have always ensured we maintain very high standards of hygiene but feel it is appropriate at this time to explain the practices we have put in place.
All our stock is stored here on the farm in a self-contained, separate building. Only my daughter and myself are involved in the packing process. Before packing commences on any given day all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and disposable gloves are worn throughout the packing process. In addition all of our hard back books are wrapped at time of publishing in cellophane - and whilst not particularly environmentally friendly, this is wonderfully protective of the book itself.
Once orders have been packed they are put into large mail sacks which are then sealed with cable ties. The sacks are then left in an empty barn from where the postman collects them. We do not have contact with the postman and he in turn does not have contact with us.
As suggested by the above paragraph, all our mail is sent with Royal Mail who have informed business customers that mail is continuing to be delivered as normal although there are some short delays in some countries. In particular, there are no issues with parcels being sent to USA other than a slight delay due to the volume of goods currently being sent by mail and extra precautions being taken at all points where mail is handled.
They also provided a very useful FAQ which I have copied in below:
Frequently Asked Questions received by Royal Mail:
1. Can customers catch coronavirus from the mail?
Public Health England has advised that there is no perceived increase in risk of contracting the new coronavirus for handling post or freight from specified areas. From experience with other coronaviruses, we know these types of viruses don’t survive long on objects, such as letters or parcels.
2. What precautionary actions are you taking to ensure the health and safety of colleagues?
We take the well being of our employees very seriously. In line with guidance from Public Health England, we are advising colleagues that good hand hygiene is the first and most important line of defence. Disposable gloves are also available to our people on request.
3. What actions will Royal Mail take in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus with one of our employees?
Should we have a confirmed employee case, we will work with Public Health England who sets out the required actions for the relevant Royal Mail office (if the employee has been in work) and any wider actions relating to people the employee has been in contact with. We have all the systems and processes in place to carry out cleaning of our property, if required.
4. What will happen if one of Royal Mail’s sites has to close because of an outbreak of the virus?
Any decision to close one of our units would be made in line with Public Health England guidance. We have strong contingency plans in place to ensure mail is kept moving. The scale, vast network and business continuity expertise of our organisation mean we have extensive experience in being able to quickly deploy diversion plans so we continue to provide customers with access to our collection and delivery services, and their mail.
I hope the above FAQs are helpful. Additionally unless specifically requested by a customer we will not be sending goods out on a tracked service as this potentially requires the recipient to sign for goods on delivery. In the UK recipients are no longer required to sign for tracked packages but this differs from country to country and I would not like to potentially compromise anyone's health by putting them in the position of having to sign for a parcel.
On a personal level, we are extremely lucky to live in a rural location and not to have to travel on a regular basis; We have strict hygiene rules in all areas of the farm and our home anyway as we live and work around animals, but we have increased these precautions and as a person at risk, I am remaining on the farm for the time being.
I hope this information is both helpful and reassuring and that you remain safe and well.