Neal’s Yard Dairy’s Decision and Our Protocol
We’ve had a lot of feedback from customers about our decision to remain open during this unusually trying and risky time. Most of that feedback has been positive and greatly appreciative. We thank those who have gotten in touch to offer support most sincerely. Some of the feedback has cast doubt on our ability to keep our products and our employees safe. While it’s easier to take the praise, we also appreciate the criticism and look on it as a call to reflect on our decision to remain open. Both categories of feedback motivate us to constantly re-examine the additional safety measures we have taken to protect our staff and customers at this time, to ensure that we’re not only doing enough, but that we’re going above and beyond.
Neal’s Yard Dairy strives to be on the forefront of managing food safety, working with raw milk products and farmhouse producers. We treat any issue affecting food safety with top priority. The current situation is one beyond food safety alone; it is a matter of staff and customer safety and we’ve placed these two critical issues above any other factor affecting our business. If we didn’t think we could provide you safely with a nutritious and comforting food at this time, we would close our doors. It’s as simple as that. There are a lot of risks out there; gambling on your wellbeing or the wellbeing of our team is not one we will take.
Below are some key areas we have identified as higher risk during the time of Covid-19. For each area we have made numerous changes in how we operate to protect our customers, our co-workers, our suppliers, and our entire business. The key precautions we are taking and changes we have made since the appearance of Covid-19 are presented by the area of our business.
If you’d like any further information about the precautions we’re taking, you can contact us directly and we will respond.
From all of us at Neal’s Yard Dairy in this uncertain time, we wish good health to you and yours and promise we will do our part to promote it.
The Entire Staff of Neal’s Yard Dairy
- All our displayed cheese is wrapped each morning. If you know us, you know we prefer our cheese to breath, but to protect our products from any potential contamination we are wrapping every displayed item until further notice.
- We are enforcing social distancing in our shops.
- We require that customers queue outside the premises and are allowing in limited numbers at any one time.
- We have established boundaries within the shop to prevent customers and cheesemongers from becoming too close.
- For safety reasons we are refraining from providing any samples, but our cheesemongers can help you with your choices.
- We have closed our Covent Garden shop because the physical layout did not allow for proper distancing.
- We are encouraging contactless payment and sanitising our card reader and our hands after each transaction where a customer is required to enter a pin. At all times we sanitise our hands after cash transactions.
- We are asking that customers pack their own bags unless they are unable to in which case our cheesemongers can help and will sanitise their hands after each occurrence.
- Our ecommerce office team are working from home wherever possible.
- On our packing line, we have changed the layout of how we cut and package cheese to allow correct social distancing.
- Our packing team wrap and pack all items individually in a clean, sanitary, climate-controlled environment, and have an exemplary track record concerning hygiene.
- Our couriers are delivering with no contact package drops.
- We encourage you to open the box, wash your hands after touching the exterior of the box, unpack it, place it in your recycling, and wash your hands again afterwards. We can control the hygiene of our packing team, but the exterior of the package may hold some risk as it has changed hands several times before arriving at your door.
- Click here to learn more about the Covid-19 response at DPD, the courier we typically use for ecommerce deliveries.
- Our drivers carry sanitisers and use them at each stop.
- We are making our drops from a safe social distance and the recipient is asked to respect this.
- No one enters our vans except our own drivers.
- The majority of our office staff are working from home.
- Our office is large and flexible, allowing those members of staff still coming in to remain at safe social distances at all times.
- We have full home connectivity and can field all our calls on our mobile phones. If you need to contact us, we are available.
- We are committed to paying our staff for as long as we can, should they need to enter isolation.
- Staff who prefer not to work at all have been given the option to take leave and return when the time comes.
- Our production team members (responsible for cheese maturing and packing) are able to keep a safe social distance from each other. Our facility is large and our numbers allow for safety.
- We have purchased enough equipment to allow office staff to work from home and have the proper IT infrastructure to support his.
- Staff travel has been halted. We are not conducting any sales or buying visits and staff education and training trips have all been postponed.
- To protect our employees, safe working practices determine maximum volumes we can handle and pack. We are not near those volumes yet, but will cap our sales there for the time being.
- ANY member of staff presenting ANY Covid- 19 symptom is directed to stay home for the appropriate period. There are no exceptions for this.