Frequently Asked Questions
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Run a Hub
Easy, just follow this link and complete the form. Make sure you tick the Hubster box. We will then call you to discuss potential delivery days and pick-up times. We will also put your Hub location on the map, and provide you with support materials.
You need an appropriate space to pack, tables, a computer and a printer.
We set up the Hub for preregistration and a Facebook page. You need to be active in getting members – they just don’t happen along.
So you are now registered as Hubster for your neighbourhood, and other people in your area may join your Hub as members. (Please note: we do not publish your actual address, and the point on the map is only an approximation). Once your Hub has 7 members, we will call you to discuss a start date. We ask you go to another Hub to observe and help another Hubster pack. Notes are given but it’s easy when you see someone do it. Whilst it isn’t rocket science, there are a number of helpful hints & tips that will help make the packing quick and easy.
After you’ve done it a few times, the average Hub should take 40 – 60 minutes, plus another 10 minutes or so to pack any custom items.
An average Hub means 10-12 bags taking around 45 to 50 minutes, and the variance in packing time is largely determined by how many items need bagging. For example, mushrooms, beans and snow peas need to be packed in paper or bio bags and if there are 1-2 of these items in a week, the packing time will be closer to 60 minutes.
We encourage you to ask members to provide produce bags so you can put into their bags and save on paper and bio bags.
In addition to some of your time, you will need:
A covered space for packing – e.g. a carport, garage or veranda.
You will need a computer with internet access and a printer.
This is to print your flyers to promote your Hub. We will provide a template.
You will be an editor of a Facebook page we set up for your Hub.
We will provide a hardcopy list for packing when we deliver the produce. But if it goes missing you can print one from your login.
You need tables to pack on.
Be mindful of general hygiene – wash your hands or use gloves for packing.
Keep the fruit & veg away from sun, rain, dirt, children and pets.
Also, on a hot day you will need to pack the bags as soon as possible (start no later than 30 minutes after delivery) to prevent the produce from wilting, unless we can leave the crates in a cool spot.
Lastly, you are our last point of quality control. We hand-pack all produce into crates and our packers are trained to leave out any bruised or damaged produce – but if you come across any produce missed that you would not want to receive yourself, please leave it out.
You will receive a discount on any fruit & vegetables purchased – either as Value Bag or as Custom Order – which depends on the number of bags packed that week. The discount is currently $4 per bag, and this reviewed every so often. For example, if you pack 10 bags this week, you will receive a $40 discount off your fruit & veg – the equivalent of a Large Bag. In addition, if you pack 7 orders or more in any week you will receive 20% discount on all other products purchased.
Please note that the discount for packing the bags must be used in that week and cannot be carried forward. For example, if you pack 10 bags for a $40 discount, but you only purchase $35 worth of fruit & veg, you cannot use the remaining $5 in the following week, nor can it be used for any other products. If on the other hand you purchase more fruit & veg than the discount is worth, you can simply pay the difference.
Yes, but they must be run from a ground level area – garage, laundry, car park – as we do not deliver upstairs or via elevators. We recommend asking the strata managers for permission – or at least inform them. Most strata by-laws prohibit the running of a business from a flat or garage, so it’s important to stress that it’s just a fruit coop. It doesn’t create a mess, it’s not a business – but you will have your friends and neighbours drop in to collect their bags. Let us know if you’d like us to send you a template.
Absolutely! If you have permission from HR or management, and a space for packing – with reasonable trolley access to deliver the crates – a Workplace Hub can be very effective. If a canteen is not available, some space may be available in an undercover car park. What’s more convenient than being able to take your groceries home straight after work?
Do I need to do any heavy lifting?
You will need to be able to lift a 15Kg crate off the ground and put it onto the trestle table for ease of distribution. That’s about as heavy as a 2-year old toddler. If you prefer, you can leave the crate on the ground, or stack them on top of a few other crates so you don’t have to bend too much.
Every Hubster is responsible for maintaining the minimum numbers.
We’ll provide support in the form of email templates and Facebook page You will need to make some effort to build and maintain Hub numbers. The minimum to start a Hub is 7 members – but to make the Hub viable, you need to average 12 -15 or more. There is no upper limit.
No problem, provided you have a back-up. We encourage Hubsters to identify a back-up Hubster as soon as possible. The Back-up can be someone else in the Hub, or a friend or neighbour. Ideally they do the packing at your place so they don’t need to move trestle tables and notify members that there is a change in pick-up address. Get the back-up Hubster to pack with you during the prior week by way of on-the-job training. If a back-up is not available, you need to give us at least a week’s notice so we can organise a Relief Hubster. In the case of an emergency, we realise that this may not be possible – but even at short notice, we can usually improvise someone to pack in your place. As a last resort, we can pre-pack the orders at our warehouse.
Any member who hasn’t collected their bag after the pick-up window, and hasn’t contacted the Hubster to make alternative arrangements, can be contacted via the Hubster login page on our website where their phone number is located.
We ask the Hubster to contact the member by phone or text. If the member fails to contact the Hubster by around 7pm the day of the Hub, contact Harvest Hub you may donate the contents to charity (see below). The member will be charged two-thirds of the cost – but at least they know that the fruit & veg found their way to a good home.
There are many ways in which Hubs can help those in need of some extra support:
- Hub members can donate unwanted food into a charity box placed near the bags on collection day and donated.
- Hub members may elect to add $1 (or more) to their weekly order. Harvest Hub will match each donation dollar-for-dollar. The proceeds could be used to buy a regular bag which can be donated.
- Bags which remain uncollected after the pick-up window and after Hubster and HH have tried to contact them, the member could not be contacted for alternative pick-up arrangements, it can be donated to charity please discuss with HH. (Please donate only the contents – not the cooler bag itself).
There are a number of potential recipients of the charity bags:
- A local family in need because of unemployment, sickness or other unexpected circumstances.
- Various local charities, usually contacted via local community centres or churches.
- A list with contact numbers is provided on the Hubster page – and they include Meals on Wheels, Exodus, Salvation Army, etc. Some charities will collect the produce, whilst others require a drop-off. This can be organised within the Hub.
Importantly, any charity work should be treated as a shared responsibility by the Hub members and not left to the Hubster alone.
Either that same day (or the following day), we collect the crates – including all cardboard and plastic inserts used for packing. This is either re-used or recycled.
We recommend you check your Home Insurance: most policies have 3rd party indemnity cover, which will cover hub members as well. Whilst the risk may be small, technically you can be held liable for ANY 3rd parties (including friends and family) who get injured on your property.
Please do not give notice as a Hubster 2 weeks before, during or 2 weeks after school holidays.
We are asking for at least 2 weeks’ notice to give us enough time to find a replacement Hubster. If you’ve already found a replacement Hubster yourself, try & get the new Hubster to pack with you at least once by way of training.
Of course! We hope you continue to support Australian growers and manufacturers.