All posts by fareshares

Three ways to pay. Only one of them respects your privacy.

Fareshares has been cash-based since it started, and the majority of payments are still made in cash. For a few years now, people have also been paying by bank transfer, and recently we also acquired the means to accept payment by bank card.

Now we are asking you to continue to pay in cash, please.

Cash is private. When you hand over cash, it’s just between us. There are no third parties involved. There’s no collection and sale of data, no profiling, no surveillance.

Cash is tangible. When you hand it over, you know how much you’ve paid, and how much you have left.

And cash is resilient. When infrastructure fails, you can still buy your food.

As a self-organised, decentralised collective, we support the direct, unsurveilled, unmediated, autonomous transactions that cash enables.

We support, defend and prefer cash.

We want cash services to continue to be available, and to be available they have to be used. If nobody withdraws cash, the cash machine will be closed. If fewer people pay cash in, the fees for handling cash will go up. It’s use it or lose it.

So please use cash.


Top 20 reasons why cash matters

A note on card payments…. The financial sector successfully lobbied government to make it illegal to pass on what it costs us to receive a card payment. So if you do pay Fareshares by card, please be kind enough to add at least the 1.6% the transaction is costing us, and if you can add a donation as well (which can be easily forgotten when you’re not paying in cash).

A note on bank transfers…. We provide our bank details in the shop, so if you have a mobile device with a banking app on it, you can set us up as a beneficiary there and then. Please show the shift volunteer that the payment has been made successfully. Bank transfers have the advantage of being cost-free.

We’re open through the holly-days

Happy holly-days!

We managed to stay open in the week leading up to Christmas, and it looks as if we have enough volunteers for Fareshares to be open at our normal times this, the last week of 2022 too.

The shop is pretty well stocked, including a nice offering of fresh seasonal produce including apples, kale, spuds, carrots, sprouts and squash.

One thing we won’t have this week is bread, as Damion’s flour wasn’t delivered.

Look forward to seeing you this week or soon in the new year!

Another kind of food co-op up the road from us…

Set up during the pandemic, and now continuing to support people through the current crisis of falling real incomes, the Borough Food Cooperative offers you £20-25 worth of food for £4.50.

£20-25 worth of food for £4.50 at the Borough Food Cooperative

The coop operates “pantry-style” from the crypt of St. George the Martyr Church, on the corner of Borough High Street and Great Dover Street.

Members can choose from an assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as dry store goods, personal care products, and chilled goods.

Most of the food is donated by The Felix Project and FareShare (often confused with us at Fareshares, although we existed first!), as well as vendors at Borough Market and other local businesses.

Borough Food Cooperative makes a point of saying that everyone is welcome, irrespective of your location or economic circumstances.

They encourage you to pop in during opening hours and sign up. No paperwork required. They say: “More new customers means more people we can reach and less food waste!”

You can also volunteer for them if you like.

Borough Food Cooperative’s opening hours are:
Tuesdays 12:00 – 15:00
Thursdays 10:00 – 13:30
(and 13:30 – 15:00 by appointment only)
Saturdays 13:00 – 15:30
(and 15:30 – 16:00 by appointment only)

They say it’s usually busiest at the start of a shift, so it’s a good idea if you can time your arrival mid-shift.

a Rough patch

The number of people buying their food at Fareshares is still quite a lot lower than before the pandemic, and meanwhile we’re doing our best to maintain or even increase the range of items available.

This, combined with other factors such as money we lose every week on unsold fresh fruit and veg, and our inefficiency in keeping prices up to date, means that our bank balance is running pretty low at the moment.

So please…

  • keep shopping!
  • let other people know about Fareshares
  • if you can, make a donation when you shop

The more help we get from our community, the better.

Meanwhile we’ll do our best to keep things going and make improvements.

If you have the time, you’re warmly invited to join us and help out as part of the collective.

Zero waste we’re not, but…

Fareshares isn’t by any stretch of the imagination zero waste. Nor is any other shop, unless they’ve built a pipeline for their oats.

Yes, when you bring your own containers and fill them from the bulk bins, as well as saving money you are indeed substantially reducing the packaging that you cause to be produced, because we’re all sharing the use of big bags or sacks rather than lots of individual packaging. But that still ain’t zero.

And of course we sell lots of things individually wrapped as well. For example, the lovely dried fruit we get from Infinity. Up until recently Infinity’s plastic film packaging has been made up of a laminate of two kinds of plastic, as they explain on their packaging FAQ page — with the result that it cannot be recycled.

But recently Infinity has started packing some of its products in pure LDPE (low-density polyethylene), which can be recycled with shopping bags at most large supermarkets. So please look out for the marking that lets you know it’s LDPE and deal with it as such.

Photo of Infinity Foods LDPE packaging
Infinity’s LDPE packaging can be recycled with plastic shopping bags and other stuff made of LDPE at many large supermarkets

Loads of things are made of LDPE, it turns out. Not just plastic shopping bags, but also bread bags, bubble wrap, cling film, freezer bags, toilet roll wrapping, and delivery bags (eg from eBay — but cut out non-removable labels). Basically, you can tell it’s LDPE if it stretches rather than splitting or tearing.

You definitely shouldn’t be putting LDPE and other plastic films in your local council’s domestic waste recycling. Almost none of them can deal with it.

You can check where your nearest LDPE “plastic bags and wrapping” recycling point is here on Recycle Now.

So yes, this is Fareshares encouraging you to go to large supermarkets. Or your local Co-op Food shop, many of which now have collection bins for soft plastics. Not necessarily to part with your money there, but definitely with your LDPE.

Fresh Fruit and Veg from 3rd February

  • Candy beetroot
  • White winter radish
  • Festival squash
  • Marfona potatoes
  • Brown mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Sweet potatoes from Spain

Apology: We ordered blood oranges but those that turned up turned out not to be blood oranges! Sorry to those who bought them and discovered this too. We are taking this up with our supplier Better Food Shed.