Category Archives: GA general

green action related things: things we are working on, ideas on how to do stuff


If you havent been to the allotment before you can find us close to the centre of Woodhouse Moor, the park just next to the Leeds Uni Campus.

We meet next to the top gate of the long rectangle of allotments (the block furthest from uni) which is where we have our plots. If you arrive later then the start time just give us a shout over the gate and someone will come and let you in.


Here is a map to find woodhouse moor, you can clearly see the allotments on the left hand corner of the park. We are on the upper block. The University is on the bottom right of the map, Hyde Park on the Left and Hyde Park Corner/Woodhouse at the top.

We meet here

About the Green Action allotment

What do we do on the Green Action Allotment?

we try to work together as a group with the natural environment to try and produce crops productively whilst protecting the natural environment around us. We use as few outside inputs from as possible and no chemicals at all. interspaced with wilder areas where natural predators and species can thrive mean that the site is alive for people and nature. More detail about the site and some of its history can be found on our website.

For the latest check the wiki *News Page* for information on where there are see our [[map]].


Past group workdays (2007)

October : cleared some beds. Planted garlic, harvested potatoes. Few Apples eaten
November : More beds dug, ready to be carboard mulched. Tool store burried. Leaves collected. Onion sets planted

Upcoming workdays

December (TBA) : probably more mulching, more digging, more cabinet burying, maybe leaves again.
Plan bed rotation, possible fruit trees, vegetable crops. Stewarding of sub-plots. Possible map site. Clay oven building. Building a raised bed. Herb spiral etc.

To make sure that everyone knows what is going on we have several ways of sharing information with who does work on the plots:

  • The Wiki is a great place to write/find out detailed information about the different patches on our plot and who has been doing what where. This should mean that everyone is in control and knows what is going on, if you are reading this then you have already found it!
  • We also send out an Email to remind everyone who is interested when a big dig is happening. For more information or if you would like to get emails, send to the allotment co-ordinator.

About Green Action food co-op

Affordable Ethical Shopping at Leeds University Union

With growing public awareness of ethical issues concerning the treatment of humans, animals and the environment, there is an increasing realisation of the influence we have as consumers on the rest of the world. By changing our shopping habits and buying from companies with sound ethical policies, we can start to make a difference globally. Healthfood and wholefood stores which stock more ethical produce are often quite expensive. Through co-operation we can have more control of what we eat as well as how much we pay for it.

The Green Action Food Co-op is an organisation within Leeds University Union run entirely by volunteers to provide cost price ethical food to its members. It costs only £2 to join for a year.  The ‘[[Who is Green Action?]]’ page has our primary rules.

  • All products are free from Genetically Modified Organisms.
  • Many products are Organic and Fairly Traded.
  • We cater for vegetarian and vegan diets.
  • We are a strictly not-for-profit organisation.
  • We source from sound suppliers, many of which are workers co-operatives.
  • As a co-operative, we share the time and responsibility of running the co-op, but also benefit from working as a group, and share the control of how the co-op is run and what food is stocked.

We have some [[Co-op flyers]] to advertise the serivce to people.  Please put them up around and about.

Opening Hours

Mon– Fri: See Timetable outside the co-op!
Sat and Sun: Closed

What is a co-op?

A co-operative (a co-op for short) is where a group of people collectively take control of an aspect of their lives for their mutual benefit – for example, housing, work and in this case food.

What is the Green Action Food Co-op?

The Green Action Food Co-op is a members’ co-op which means it is collectively run by our members, who each pay a nominal fee of £2 a year and can participate in all the aspects of day-to-day running. This doesn’t mean you have to volunteer your time or get involved in anything, but we would encourage you to do so as it’s enjoyable, productive and you get to meet new people! The Food Co-op is part of Green Action, a society based at LUU, but this does not necessarily mean that all volunteers take part in other Green Action activities or vice versa.  See our constitution for more.

By buying in bulk and selling at cost-price (i.e. we don’t make a profit) we can pass everything on to our members at an affordable price.

What do we stock?

We stock lots of snacks like flapjacks, sesame snaps, chocolate, liquorice; a range of fair trade/organic teas and coffees; pasta, jars (of peanut butter, pesto etc), soya milk and rice milk, fruit juices, yoghurt, tofu, margarine and a wide range of other essentials.
We also have lots of jars full of loose grains, dried beans, dried fruit, nuts, lentils, oats, muesli and different flours which we can weigh out to the amount you want and put in a bag or a tub for you. This means we can all reduce our packaging and therefore the amount of waste we’re creating.

Non-food items we stock include toilet roll, Mooncups, recycled paper and bio-degradable bin liners as well as bio-degradable cleaner, washing-up liquid and washing powder which are all in bulk for you to bring along a container to fill up.

Have a look at our stock list for a better idea of what we have.

Fruit and Vegetable Boxes

We have weekly deliveries of fruit and vegetable boxes from Goosemoor (, a grower and distributor of organic foods based in Wetherby. Any member can order a fruit or vegetable box from Goosemoor through us. Vegetable boxes are available in multiples of £5 and fruit boxes in multiples of £3.
This is a great way to get good quality and healthy organic fruit and vegetables at an affordable price (as with the rest of our stock, we don’t charge a profit).

What else does the Co-op do?

At the Co-op you can browse Green Action’s alternative library full of books and pamphlets on politics and political struggles, ecology and the environment, development, human and animal rights, social issues and a wealth of other subjects.

We also have a notice-board and leaflet racks with Green Action related information as well as info about other campaigns and events. This is a good place to find out about other events, activities and campaigns going on in Leeds outside of the student community.  We are associate members of Radical Routes which is a secondary co-op which aims to promote the formation of more radical co-ops in the UK.

About this website

This site is here to help you.  We want it to become a resource for activists.  Its primary goals are

  • To be a resource for activists with flyers, posters, ideas e.t.c.
  • To help new members of Leeds University see what has been achieved.
  • To show other universities what is possible and encourage help them.

Note: This website is not for advertising events that are not specifically related to Green Action or any of the other topics.  That is best done on Leeds Indymedia


The tabs at the top link you to all related post, e.g. all Food Co-op related posts or all Recipes / food ideas.

We also have two ‘Books’ which are coherent nuggets of information.

  • [[Green Guide]]: Towards sustainable living in Leeds.
  • [[Things Green Action]]: a manual on how Green Action is run.

See how to [[Edit this site|edit this site]], [[|contact us]] if you are lost or just make [[|new content]].

All things Green Action

Green Action is constantly trying to make sure new people get involved with running things, so we stay co-operative.

Please add your answers, improve the ones already filled in, and add any new questions you can think of, so everyone knows how green action works, and can get involved.

These answers will go up outside the co-op as soon as possible, and some of them will also be used to put together a co-op volunteer’s manual, to help people when they do a shift. So please add whatever you think will help!

Could you also try and keep the formatting of the questions the same – tab in each answer etc… This is going to be a long document and we need to keep it readable!

How do I edit this list of questions?

Go to and log in.

How often should it be updated, and whose responsibility is it to do this?

This document should be updated whenever we change something in green action. Usually, if the change is to do with the library, the library co-ordinator should do the updating, and changes on the allotment should be added by the allotment co-ordiantor etc… but generally, all members should contribute to this document.


1. Constitutiony stuff


Note: all the roles below have now been reorganised by this year’s AGM — need to be updated asap!!


1.1 When are people elected to committee positions?
At the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is held around March.

1.2 When do the previous year’s committee hand over the role to the new committee?
Before we break up for summer, so when we come back the society is on its feet and can recruit new members, sort the rota out etc without any problems in September. Here are this years’ co-ordinators:


1. General Co-op: Hannah and Katie

The co-op volunteers rota; additions to volunteer mailing list ‘foodcoop’; training- organise inductions, arrange for first shift cover, ensure knowledge distribution; check cleaning is getting done. Will be a signatory on accounts. They make sure the co-op runs smoothly.


2. Lembas : Meave

Organise rota for ordering; work with training person to make sure orders are getting checked off properly when they arrive and that stock is getting priced correctly; make sure personal ordering process is working; email Lembas as required and resolve any issues with deliveries, invoices etc. Will be a signatory on accounts.


3. Goosemoor: Jess Rush

Organise rota for ordering; additions to mailing list (vegboxes on riseup) send order deadline reminders and collection reminders; make sure order and collection system working well; ensure that those placing orders are made aware of when to collect etc.


4. Membership: Nanda

Check the forms weekly for new members to add to mailing list ‘greenaction’ and then updates the membership book, membership money; make sure everyone else is making sure people are members; additions ; moderation of mailing list; book rooms for general meetings and advertise these meetings on posters, mailing list etc; co-ordinate stalls for freshers fairs etc.


5. Allotment: Jack

Organise ‘Big Digs’ and make sure promoted; empower people to be ‘stewards’ of different patches and work with others on these; make sure there are enough tools; maintain the allotment plan we keep in the co-op; get lots of people involved; keep some spare keys and a list of key holders; everything allotment related! They ensure surpluses get sold in the co-op.


6. Accounts: Nanda

We have 3 accounts so someone needs to make sure everything is as it should be! Also need to make sure funding applications to the Union get completed before deadlines and thoroughly; they let the co-op coordinator know how much money is available for orders each week; they store all records of what they do in the file in the co-op; they report on money matters every second meeting.

7. Website: Nikolai

Don’t need to be a super computer whizz; keep website updated; moderate if ever needed; deal with any registration issues; generally keep it all looking good and getting used well.


8. Ideas: Jess Groling
Ensure bits of Green Action other than the co-op aren’t neglected, empower people to put their campaign ideas/ general activity ideas into action…


2. Allotment stuff

2.1 How many allotments does green action manage, and where are they?
Green Action manages two allotments, both in Hyde Park. If you walk into the centre of the park from the path closest to the union building, then take the path that leads down to Hyde Park Road, you will see the allotment gate in the hedge on the left of that path. Green Action’s plots are plot 30 and plot 35, the ?th and ?th plots on the left as you walk down.

2.2 Who has created the current allotment plans? (OLD)
Dom, an ex-student and a member.

2.3 Where are the allotment plans displayed? (OLD)
They are stuck on the wall above the fridge in the co-op. The allotment co-ordinator needs to make a new copy as it is getting a bit raggy.

2.4 Whose responsibility is it to keep these plans updated?
The allotment co-ordinator.

2.5 Is there much spare space on our allotments?
Yes! Some patches are designated as personal spaces, so please check first on the plan. These ‘belong’ to the member that has planted them up, so please dont do/take anything from these patches without asking them – their email should be on the plan. But apart from that, members can use empty beds to grow what they want.

We could also get another plot if demand requires it so space really isn’t an issue.

2.6 What happens on allotment ‘big digs’?
Green Action’s regular ‘Big Digs’ are when lots of us spend a day, or a few hours, working on the allotments together. People can work on their own patches, or help out on the communal areas. Necessary jobs are suggested by those who go down regularly.

We also have a small veggie barbeque at the end of the afternoon.


2.7 Who arranges allotment workdays, and how?

They normally take place once a month, the allotment co-ordinator is responsible for orgainsing when and where to meet, and will email this out to the list.



2.8 When else can we go to the allotment?

Just by yourself if you fancy it during the month, by borrowing a key. Also, at the start of each year the Union pays societies that hold ‘give it a go’ taster sessions for freshers – we run ours at the allotment.

2.9 How many keys to the allotments are there, and who has them?
Quite a lot of people have keys. The new co-ordinator should make a list of these people.


2.10 Can I get my own copy cut, and should I add my name to the above list?
The new allotment co-ordinator will have several keys available to borrow for a refundable deposit of £1.50, or to cut from – in the meantime, contact Jack.


2.11 How much is allotment rent?
Approximately £26 + £10 water rates (£36 total) per plot per year. Half plots are also available from the council at a rate of £13 + £10 water rates (£23 total). However we are currently trying to get eligibility as a student group to get reduced rent. This is a 50% discount on rents with the same £10 charge for water.

2.12 Who do we pay this to, how and when?
Parks and Countryside Department of Leeds City Council, by writing a cheque at the start of every year.

2.13 Where do we get tools and seeds from?
We have a few spades and forks, (stored on site) but please also bring your own tools. If you would like to plant a patch up yourself, Ben recommneds
or for buying seeds. If you would like to help planting up communal areas, seeds for these are supplied by those who go down regularly.


2.14 What happens to the things grown on the allotment?
They’re shared out amongst those who help out on the allotment, and any big surplus is sold cheaply in the co-op.

4. Membership stuff

4.1 How do we recruit new members, and when?

We have a stall at the freshers’ society fair at the start of the year, and the re-freshers’ fair after Christmas. However, we also recruit new members throughout the year by talking to people who come to the co-op, and having stalls in the Union, and even at events such as the Moor music festival.


4.2 How does someone join green action?
f they are a student, they fill in a membership form and pay £1 (or £2 if they’re feeling generous!). Membership money goes in the marked red cash box, not the till. Fill in their details in the blue membership book which should be on the document shelf. Ask them if they want to be added to the mailing list, and if they don’t then don’t write in their email.


At the start of the year, ie at the freshers’ fair, people may just want to join the email list, but not become a member. In this case, we’ll take their email and the membership co-ordinator will add them to the email list, but when they come to the new members’ meeting, or when they come to the co-op, we’ll try to re-inforce that they really should join.


4.3 What happens to the forms that are filled in?

The membership co-ordinator checks in the co-op once a week for newly completed forms, and checks that the new members’ details have been transfered from the forms into our membership book. They also add their email to the list: the new member will then receive a ‘welcome’ email, and will start receiving news about what is happening in Green Action


4.4 Why do we charge a membership fee?

This money goes towards covering errors, spillages and the like, as we sell at cost price and so do not make any profits. It is also invested in Green Action activities and trips.


4.5 How much is the membership fee?
The membership fee is £1, or £2 if they can afford it. We need money to cover any losses we make through spillages, things going out of date etc. We also want those who use the co-op to understand that it isn’t a shop, but part of a society which people join, and volunteer other members, by keeping the co-op going. Membership money is invested in the society; this could be books, tools, and other general improvements. At the moment its being used to pay back the loan the Union gave us because of our financial difficulties.

4.6 Where do we put membership money?
The membership money goes in the red cash box, next to the till. It is marked "membership money".

4.7 Who is responsible for putting this in the bank, and how often should they do this?

The accounts co-ordinator (Nanda) is responsible for putting this in the bank and will do it when she sees fit, probably for membership money when there is over £25. She will leave enough in to give people change if they need it.


4.9 What is the green action email list for?
The green action mailing list allows any member to email every other member at once, by sending a message to Emails should be about organising co-op related things, explaining how new things work, announcing upcoming socials, allotment workdays, etc, or anything relating to issues that Green Action Members are likely to be interested in such as humanitrian or green issues. They can receive a digest three times a week instead of every email individually by logging in to riseup with your email and password (as given in the first email you receive riseup) and clicking on ‘your subscriptions’ – ‘greenaction’ – ‘options’ – then selecting ‘reception mode – digest’.

4.10 Who can add people to this list?
The membership co-ordinator, Nanda. Although this year quite a few other committee members know how to do this too as its a new position.

4.11 How do they do this?

They go to and log in to Riseup lists at using the Green Action ‘moderator’ acount details, which are known to the person above. They click on ‘your subscriptions’, which shows the lists that they’re signed up to, then click on ‘greenaction’, then ‘members’, then ‘multiple add’. They then type in all the addresses and as a list and click ‘add’. It will display how many people have just been added, and how many addresses weren’t added; because they were typed in wrong, the handwriting was illegible, the address didn’t exist, or becaue the person is already on the list.


4.12 What is on the automatic first email a new member receives?

There is a bit at the top telling people they’ve been added, what their username is and what their password is. There is also a bit about what Green Action is and what the list is for and that there is an archive of past emails. This should be the same text you can see when you log in to riseup lists and go to the homepage, written by the people who set up the list initially. The message also lists the events that are upcoming, kept updated by the membership co-ordinator.


4.13 How does someone unsubscribe form the mailing list?

They can send an email to


4.14 What other email lists are used by green action?

There is a volunteers list (foodcoop on riseup) and a vegbox list (vegboxes on riseup).

The volunteers list is for people who are doing co-op shifts or interested in doing a shift. It’s for co-op specific information that normal members probably wouldn’t be interested in. The co-op co-ordinator adds new people to it using the ‘moderator’ account details.


The vegbox list is for people who order veg and fruit boxes through the co-op. It is used to remind people to place their order and pay for it, and to remind them to pick it up. The Goosemoor co-odinator adds/removes people from it using the ‘moderator’ account details.

4.15 Who has a copy of these email lists?

Only people who know the ‘moderator’ account details can view the list of members. This is to stop anyone being able to pull off the list of email addresses and send spam.

4.16 What is the green action email account for?
Unigreen email is for communication with Lembas and Goosemoor, as a first point of contact for people wanting to get in touch with the society, and to make sure that by having a society account one person isn’t responsible for all communications.


4.17 Who can access unigreen and how?

All committee members, those on the Lembas ordering team, and some other members who have needed to use the account for whatever reason, have the log in details. It is accessed by going to the Uni webmail page, as you would to access a personal webmail account.

4.18 Do we let non-members use the co-op?
n a word, no. However it is up to the discretion of the volunteers working a shift to use sense to enforce this rule. If someone comes down once or twice for a seasme snap then it doesn’t really matter. If they use the co-op constantly then they have to be a member.
Also, tea, coffee and personal orders (Lembas or Goosemoor) are strictly members only services.


4.8 What do I do if a new person wants to volunteer for a shift in the co-op?
First off, they should be a member. Then they should check the rota which is attached to the outside of the co-op door. If there is a free space then they should fill in their name and email the co-op co-ordinator Susannah
. If there is only one person down for a particular shift it’s fine for someone else to add their name to that too. If every shift has two people on then email Amanda with the shift you’d like to do, and she’ll email the others to check it’s ok. Please emphasise that by writing their name down they are making a commitment, and we need them to turn up on their first shift especially, so we can train them! The rota is the same for the whole term.

5. Lembas stuff

5.1 What do we mean by a ‘Lembas order’?
Lembas is a wholesaler based in Sheffield. We order all stock, with the exception of fresh fruit and veg, Palestinian Olive Oil, the greetings cards and occasionally other things (at the moment the pads of paper and sets of 4 soaps) through Lembas. Their entire catalogue is online at

5.2 How do I record a member’s order?
he member wishing to place the order should use the Lembas catalogue to fill in all the information in the members’ order book including the correct stock code for each item they wish to purchase.
he Lembas catalogue and members’ orders book are kept on the document shelf, and should not be removed from the co-op (except by the co-op co-ordinator or a member of the ordering team when necessary). They have to pay.

5.3 Do members have to pay for something when they order it, or when they collect it?
Members have to pay for orders when they place the order (including VAT where appropriate). No payment on collection. This is to stop people ordering things and never collecting them. Make sure you tick that the order has been paid for (read the Lembas book to understand how the VAT works), otherwise it won’t be placed! Money for personal orders in placed in the till as usual.

5.4 Who puts together and emails Lembas the order?
The co-op/Lembas co-ordinator or the member of the order team responsible for placing the order that week.


5.5 How do I get on the order team?

Contact the co-op/Lembas coordinator. Send them an email and it will be arranged for you to be shown how we use the Lembas website to create an order, and how to login.

5.6 How will I know what to put on the order?
Check the notice board to the left of the hatch on the inside of the co-op for suggestions to add to the stocklist. Order these items if you agree with the suggestion and make a note to suggest adding them to the stocklist.

Then, go through the stocklist and check what we have and what we don’t in the co-op, and if we are sold out/running low of something, make a note to order more of it. Alternatively, if you realise we are heavily stocked with something, and it really isn’t selling, make a note to suggest taking it off the stocklist.

The quantity to order depends on your own judgement: from doing a shift you will have noticed how quick certain things sell, and how much room we have to stock items – for example, pasties and cakes sell very quickly, but we only have a small fridge to stock them in, so we tend to order . (We usually can order up to £700 worth of stock – ie. stuff that has not been ordered and paid for already by specific members, but if we have a limited budget that week for whatever reason, you will be informed by the co-op/Lembas co-ordiantor.)

Then add the items from the members’ order book, stored on the document shelf.

Occasionally the co-op will be asked to provide food for an event: in this case, the co-op co-ordinator will let you know if we need to add huge numbers of tea bags/geobars etc onto the order.

5.7 Where is the stocklist?

The stocklist will be stored on the documents shelf.

5.8 Who can update the stocklist and how?

When a member of the order team (or any other member) wants wants to suggest adding/removing an item from the stocklist, they should make a note on this on the online advance agenda, and if we agree at the meeting, the stock co-ordinator will update the online stocklist and print out a new copy.

The price column of the stock list should be also checked regularly by the all volunteers in the co-op, and again, they should update the online stocklist with any new prices.

5.9 When is the Lembas order delivered to the co-op?

The Lembas order is supposed to be delivered between 11-5pm on Thursday. , so all three Thursday shifts should know what to do with an order.


5.10 What do the delivery shift volunteers have to do when the order arrives?

1. Give the cheque to the delivery driver. It will be in the blue plastic wallet that is taped to the wall near the light switch.

2. Help the driver locate a trolley cage: you’ll usually find some if you go through the Old Bar and out the exit nearest the cafe till to the side of the Union. The driver will load the cage(s) up. You’ll have to help wheel them through the Old Bar to the co-op. (If you can’t find any: go up the stairs past the photo machine near the co-op, and immediatley on your left there is an alcove where cages are kept. Use the lift to bring it down half a floor to the co-op, then go out through the Old Bar as usual. The final option is to go out of the Old Bar fire exit and walk onto the bridge: you should see cages below you, whcih you can push up the gravel path at the other side of the bridge.)

3. Get a copy of the invoice from the driver and check that any fridge items have been unloaded before the driver goes.

4. Get the personal orders book from the document shelf. Sometimes orders will have been carried forward. Look for any orders where the delivery column has not been ticked yet. It’s easiest to use the item codes to do this. Orders may be a week or two late so you may have to look back in the book. Check through the invoice and highlight any items that are personal orders (these are usually somewhere near the end of the invoice, as they will have been typed into the online order form last).

5.The next job is easiest to do in a pair. One person unloads an item from the cage, saying what it is. The second person should find this item on the invoice and tick it off, checking it is the right quantity. Don’t panic if it doesn’t seem right – you might find it’s other half lower in the cage, or inside a box somewhere. Items will not have been put on the cage in any particular order: if the item is a personal order, put it somewhere separate from everything else. If an item is stock, put it inside the co-op stockroom, or somewhere else not in the way. Tick off each item on the invoice as you unload the cage. Make a note of any problems with undelivered, broken, or extra items – what to do is explained later.

6. When the cages are empty, take them back through the Old Bar and outside.

7. Put a sticky white label (stored in the stationary box) on each item that’s a personal order and write the member’s name on it/ or write their name on the item in marker pen. Check if they paid the right amount by comparing the price written in the personal order book with the price on the invoice. Sometimes, particularly with nuts and other bulk items, the price Lembas asks changes more regularly than their catalogue is re-printed, so the catalogue is inaccurate. If the member needs to pay extra, or is owed money, then write that on the label too. (Remember to check for VAT. – a V next to the order on the invoice means that you should add VAT) Then put the item on the bottom shelf of the stock shelves in the back room. If there is not enough room there, put in on the floor next to the shelf. As each item is put on the shelf, put a tick in the ‘delivered’ column in the order book.

8. Stock orders should be put on the shelves in the back room: the bottom one is for personal orders only, but the other ones should be labelled with what sort of stock goes on them, to try and keep the shleves a bit organised.


5.11 What if I’m doing the delivery shift and something on the invoice has 00.00 in the quantity column?

If there is a 00.00 in the quantity column then the item has not been delivered because it is out of stock at Lembas. We will not have been charged for it this week, so will have slightly overpaid and Lembas will record a credit on our account. The item will arrive with the next week’s order if it comes back into stock, and then the credit will disappear: we won’t be charged for something unless it has been delivered.

5.12 What about if something hasn’t been delivered that the invoice says should have been, or something is broken, or gone off?
If there are any problems with missing, bad or incorrect items make a note and email lembas using the unigreen email account, typing in the lembas co-ordinators email address in the ‘cc’ line so they know whats going on. Lembas will usually collect extra items the next week, and credit our account if something is broken, or hasn’t been delivered (or sometimes deliver it the next week, assuming we still want it and ask them to).

You do not need to email Lembas if an item reading 00.00 in the quantity column is not delivered: it will be delivered the next week.


5.13 Where do I put the invoice when everything has been checked off?

The invoice goes in the invoices folder on the document shelf.

5.14 Where do we keep spare stock labels?

Labels are kept in the stationary box. If there are no labels in the stationary box you can get more by cutting up some blank pieces of paper into a good label size.

5.15 Does the price of stock ever change?
Yes, but not for most items.

5.16 What items are likely to change most often?
Bulk items such as nuts, herbs and grains.

5.17 How do we keep stock labels updated?

The co-op maintenance co-ordinator will check the prices on all labels against the prices on the latest invoice during their shift, and make necessary changes. They will also check for VAT. The labels can be changed by using a small piece of white sticky label (stored with other stationary on the document shelf in the black magazine holder.

5.18 Who is responsible for keeping the labels updated?

The co-op mintenance co-ordinator, but volunteers should make new labels if they are needed during their shifts.

5.19 Do we have to raise the price to include VAT ever?

Not usually, but for some items there is a ‘V’ in the VAT column on the invoice. This means that we have to add 15%. We do this by taking the amount in the price column of the invoice (not the value or rrp), checking if this amount needs to be divided by the number in the quantity column, and multiplying it by 1.15, then dividing it by however many parts we split it up into to sell. Use a calculator (there is one in the co-op).

5.20 What do I do when a member wants to collect their order?

When a member wants to collect their order get the personal order book and find out what they ordered, then collect it from the personal orders shelf. Check the label to make sure that the member does not owe (or is not owed) money for the order. If all is ok, give them the stock and tick off the ‘order collected’ column.
If you can’t find an item, check if the personal order book displays that it has been delivered, or that it has not already been collected by their housemate etc. If it has not been delivered, tell the member it will arrive next thursday, but if they want to cancel their order to email the co-op co-ordinator who will arrange this. If it has been given to someone else by mistake, try to work out who it was given to, offer the member a refund and email the co-op co-ordinator yourself as soon as possible, giving all the details.

5.21 How do I find out how much to ask for when a member buys something from stock?
If for any reason an item of stock is not marked with a price then check the stock list which is will be kept on the docuement shelf. For now, and in the future if for any reason you cannot find the item on the stock list, then check the Lembas catalogue. It is important to check the stock list first because it should have a more up to date price than the catalogue.


5.22 Why is it very important to work out the right price for an item?
We cannot afford to lose money by undercharging people!

5.23 Where do we put this money?
Money goes in the grey till under the front desk.

5.24 Who is responsible for putting this in the bank, and how often should they do this?
he financial co-ordinator will pay most of the money in the till into our account by taking it to the cash office in the ARC upsatirs in the union on a regular basis.

5.25 Where do we keep personal orders?

Personal orders are kept on the bottom right hand shelf of the stock room, the shelf should be marked. If an order does not fit on the shelf place it on the floor next to the shelf. Please make sure the label marking the order is clear.

6. Goosemoor stuff

6.1 What do me mean by a Goosemoor order?
Goosemoor is a farm near Wetherby that we order our organic fruit and veg boxes from. See for more information. The goosemoor coordinator (Jess R) sends out an order to them by email each monday at 4pm for fruit and vegetable boxes and sometimes loose vegetables to sell at the coop. The order is then delivered the following thursday afternoon.

6.2 Who puts together and emails the Goosemoor order?
The goosemoor coordinator, this is currently Jess R

6.3 How do they know what to order?
When a member asks to order a vegbox, the co-op volunteer on shift writes in the Goosemoor order book what size boxes they want, how many they want, and if they want only local produce, or no celery etc. The co-ordinator simply copies up this information and emails it. They will only include orders that have been prepaid.

6.4 When does the Goosemoor order arrive?
The Goosemore order arrives on Thursday afternoon. It should arrive between 1-3, however it does sometimes arrive later so anyone working either Thursday afternoon shift should be aware of the procedures for handling this order.

6.5 What do the delivery shift volunteers have to do when the Goosemoor order arrives?

There should be a cheque for the delivery driver in the Green folder on the bottom shelf. Make sure you give the driver this cheque before he/she leaves. If there are two or more volunteers present then one should stay at the Co-op while everyone else helps the delivery driver. The boxes should be stacked neatly on the shelf above the large bags in the stock room. Any sacks should be placed on the floor in the left hand side of the stock room. There should be a label on each sack/box explaining its contents. Use the Goosemoor order book to label each sack/box with the name of the member who ordered it.

6.6 What if I’m doing the delivery shift and I want to know which box is for which member?
Look at the invoice: all boxes delivered will be listed on the invoice. Count how many ‘local only’ vegboxes have arrived. Then, look in the order book and list which peoplpe these boxes have been ordered by. Then, go through the pile of boxes and find the ones labelled ‘local only’. Write each person’s name on a box. Repeat this procedure for all the special order boxes, such as ‘no celery’ boxes. Leave the rest of the boxes unlabelled, as it doesn’t matter which person gets which box if they all ordered the same thing. Most of the boxes will not be special order.

6.7 What about if what is recorded in the Goosemoor order book doesn’t match the boxes that have been delivered?
Sometimes Goosemoor sends boxes that don’t exactly match what was ordered. If this happens try to match things up as best you can, and after that, allocate the boxes on a first come, first served basis. Anyone who doesn’t get a box or is deeply unhappy at their allocated box’s contents can be refunded – email the co-ordinator to let them knw this has happened.

6.8 What do I do if a member wants to collect their Goosemoor box?
Check the order book to see what they ordered. If their’s is a special order (eg ‘local only’), check the box that has their name written on it matches what they wanted, and give them their order.

6.9 How long will a member have to wait for his/her order after placing the order?
The Goosemoor order is made every Monday evening for Thursday of that week.

7. Other co-op stuff

7.1 How do we fill up the shift rota?

The co-op maintenance co-ordinator emails the list asking which shifts people want to do, and makes a first copy if the rota. This is put up outside the co-op and we encourage people to sign up to it when they come down.

7.2 What happens on someone’s first shift?
An experienced volunteer will do their shift with them, and explain how everything works. To make this easier there is a volunteer’s manual in the co-op, on the document shelf, which all volunteers should read.

7.3 What if I can’t make my co-op shift?
Send an email on the volunteers’ mailing list (foodcoop on risesup)
informing people that you can’t make your shift and ask someone to email back, offering to cover for you, or just get a friend to cover your shift. It’s nice to have the co-op open when we say it will be, so try not to abandon your shift!

7.4 Who cleans the co-op?
Everyone! If you spill anything please clear it up. If you have a few minutes spare then please do a full sweep. At the very least please don’t leave the co-op in a worse state than you found it.

7.5 Why is it important to store things off the floor, and re-seal them?

To make sure that the food is away from any possible sources of contamination and will remain fresh so it can be sold to other co-op members. The coop can’t afford to loose sacks of food due to everything being sold on a non-profit basis.

7.6 What about the greetings cards we sell?

We sell hand-made cards made by mental health patients in Antarra (a hospital in Kolkatta, India) to raise money for their treatment. The big printed ones cost £1.20. The big painted ones, and the smaller ones made from homemade paper, cost £1.50. Money goes into the tin labelled ‘money for cards’. We get given the cards by a Union society called Friends of Antarra. Laura emails them when we are running low, and they come to the co-op to collect the money and give us more cards. They record which cards they give us each time so they know which ones sell best and how much money they should be collecting (if there’s not enough, use money from the till as its likely that this is where the money will have been put by mistake).


7.8 What about the magazines?
Whatever magazine is there there will be a labelled glass jar nearby for dosh, this will be collected by whoever put the magazibnes there. There are also lots of free magazines (if they dont have a price on..)


7.9 What about departmental coffee orders, and who deals with this?

The dept orders (currently geography and environment) are dealt with (currently) by Amanda. They email her and say what they want and she adds it to the lembas order and writes it in the order book. When the items are delivered she will pick them up and take them to the depts. They are given an invoice, and then make out a cash form which Amanda takes to the uni cash office and gets exchanged for cash. This is then put in the co-op account.


7.10 How do I re-stock bulk items properly?

Once a sack of food has been used up the jar needs to be cleaned out and then the next sack of the same product should be opened to re-fill the jar. The new best before date needs to be added to the label. If people are aware of best before dates, we know when food is about to go out of date and so can put up a sign encouraging more people to buy it. This is important for health and safety reasons, and because the coop cannot afford to lose money from stock going bad. It is important to wait until the jar is empty before you re-stock as bits of food continually left in the bottom will eventually go off.

7.11 What do I do if mine is the first shift of the day (or if the co-op is closed when you turn up for a shift)?
f it’s the first shift of the day then you’ll have to get the Green Action key (key 32) from reception. You’ll need your key tag or your student card. When you go down to the Coop:

  • Turn on the fan using the switch just to the right of the door as you go in, it’s under the shelves containing loose stock.

  • Put the keys on the hook on the right hand side of the stock cupboard door above the fridge.

  • The light switch is on the left hand side of the stock cupboard door, under the chocolate shelf!

  • Carefully open the shutters, you don’t want to smack someone in the face with them!

  • Put the Library shelf in the alcove that the hatch opens out to. It should fit at a 90 degree angle to the hatch against the stairs

  • Hopefully the last person in kept the place clean, however if they haven’t please give the floor a sweep, tidy up the leaflets etc.

7.12 What do I do at the end of my shift?
Get a student card or key tag from the next volunteer and swap it for your own student card or key tag at reception.

7.13 What do I do if mine is the last shift of the day (or if you have to leave and nobody has turned up for the next shift)?

  • Turn off the fan using the switch just to the right of the door as you go in, it’s under the shelves containing loose stock.

  • Put the Library shelf inside the co-op

  • Turn off the light, the switch is on the left hand side of the stock cupboard door, under the chocolate shelf

  • Please leave the co-op in a state that you’d like to see it at the start of your shift, i.e. clean and tidy.

  • Close the shutters and Lock up using keys on the hook on the right hand side of the stock cupboard door above the fridge.

  • You’ll then need to sign the key back in with reception and get your key tag back.


7.14 Do we still collect tetrapaks?

No, please take them to Meanwood road recycling center LS7 2LP


7.15 What about the Notice Boards and leaflets?
Please check the notice board and leaflet rack for leaflets not related to green action or ethical or environmental issues and throw them in the recycling bin. People often ask to leave leaflets on the front desk. It’s up to the discretion of the individual volunteer but they should either relate to the issues above or be a fundraiser for a good cause of some kind.


8. Financial stuff

8.1 How do we pay Lembas?

Lembas is paid each week by cheque. The financial coordinator is responsible for ensuring that the cheque is left in the folder in the co-op and it is up to whoever receives the order on Thursday afternoon to ensure that the cheque is given to the delivery driver.

8.2 How do we pay Goosemoor?

Goosemoor is paid each week by cheque. The financial coordinator is responsible for ensuring that the cheque is left in the folder in the co-op and it is up to whoever recieves the order on Thursday afternoon to ensure that the cheque is given to the delivery driver.

8.3 Who writes these cheques?

The financial co-ordinator fills out a form detailing the amount we need a cheque made out for, and takes the invoice up to the ARC cash office. They copy the invoice and ask us to come back the next day to collect the cheque (which is filled out by the cash office).

8.4 What bank accounts does green action have?
We have a co-op account that we only use for money from sales of stock, personal orders or vegboxes;we use this acocunt to pay Lembas and Goosemoor. There is also a a general account we use for membership money, and a funding account which is where the Union put any funding money they decide to award us.

8.5 How do we put money in/take money out, and who can do this?
Only the three account signatories can do this. They are the ‘president, the ‘secretary’ and the ‘treasurer’. These are labels the Union has made us use, not committee positions. The names given to the Union for this are obviously our financial co-ordiantor, Danni, and then Hayley and Amanda as well. There are a variety of forms to choose from, and signatories have to pick the right one according to the purpose of the money being paid in or out.

8.6 Do we get any money off the union, when do we have to apply for this, and how?
Yes. The finnancial co-ordinator gets a form from the ARC office at the start of each semester. We brainstorm for ideas at a meeting, then they fill in this form listing our expected income, what our planned expenditure is, and then what we’d like funding for and how this funding will meet the aims of the society. The Union usually gets back to us a few weeks later and lets us know what we have been awarded.

8.7 What can we use this union money for?
Its not wonderfully clear… the new rules appear to be that you can spend it on anything as long as it meets the society’s objectives and isn’t things like food, drink and socials: we can fund allotment stuff, co-op improvements, trips, or publicity etc.

8.8 How do we raise other money?
Through membership and any other fundraising ideas anyone has: band nights, bring a dishes with donations etc.

8.9 What can we use this fund-raised money for?
Whatever the members who turn up to meetings agree on. Obviously it will be of benefit to the society and its members.

8.10 How often does the financial co-ordinator have to report on green action funds?

The financial coordinator reports on green action funds every other meeting, ie once a month.

8.11 How can members access the financial records?

All transactions are recorded in the financial records file on the document shelf.


8.12 Can I get money back when I pay to get posters printed?

Yes, hopefully, we have applied for funding for printing poster, fliers, etc, so keep your receipts and take them to the cash desk to get money back. We will only know for sure when we get the funding application back.

9. Meeting stuff

9.1 How often does green action have meetings, when, and where?

Green action has a meeting every fortnight. The meeting usually lasts an hour or so. We have meeting room 5 booked every Wednesday.

9.2 Who books the room for the meeting, and when do they do this?
The meeting co-ordinator should contact the ARC via the reception or email, and block book a room at the start of every semester.


9.3 How will I know if the meeting place/date changes?
he meeting co-ordinator will announce it to the email list.

9.4 Who can put an item on the meeting agenda, and how?
Anyone can put an item on the meeting agenda. This can be done either in advance using the Writely or at the beginning of the meeting. Go to and log in as, and have a look for the correct advance agenda. If you put an item on the agenda on the meeting and don’t turn up then be aware that it might not be discussed!

9.5 What happens at the start of every meeting?

  1. The advanced agenda will be printed out and brought by the person who wrote the minutes for last meeting. If it is not possible for them to make the meeting then it is their responsibility to find someone else to do so.

  2. The advanced agenda will be passed round so people can add items to it. This sheet will then be used as the agenda for the meeting

  3. The meeting co-ordinator will select a facilitator and someone to take the minutes, preferably different people each time.

  4. The minutes from the last meeting will be read by the facilitator and agreed by those present. Anyone who has a task minuted will be asked for a progress report on that task.

  5. Every second meeting the financial co-ordinator will report on the status of the green action funds.

9.6 If I am the meeting facilitator, what should I do?
Announce the first item from the agenda, then pass the floor to whoever put that item on, for it to be explained, and then everyone can discuss it. Be aware of the time; get the meeting started as soon as possible. During the meeting, if there are loads more items to get through and its getting late, say we should move on to the next item: occasionally you may have to propose we leave items to be discussed at future meetings.

9.7 What about if people begin arguing with each other?

Arguments are not very productive: suggest we either go away and think about the issue and decide next meeting, or have a vote. Its very unlikely this will be necessary though. Usually the main problem is people talking over each other at large meetings. In this case, get people to put their hands up when they have something to say, and say who’s turn it is to speak next, trying to get them in order of when they put their hands up, and making sure one or two people don’t get to say more than everyone else. Don’t worry too much though, everyone will be helping out to keep things on track at meetings!

9.8 How do I make an announcement at a meeting?

You can make an announcement by adding it to the agenda, either before the meeting using Writely or at the beginning of the meeting. You do not have to be at the meeting for an annoucenemt to be made, however we would encourage it and if you are not at the meeting then your annoucement will be made at the discretion of the facilitator.

10. Other green action stuff

10.1 Where are template copies of posters and flyers that have been used in the past?
There is a folder on the library shelf that contains copies of many of the different flyers that have passed through the food co-op. These can be taken to media services and photocopied. Hopefully there will also be a cd containing electronic flyer/posters as .pdf files for printing too, made by Ben.


10.2 What is the Green Guide and who produces it?

The Green Guide was started last year by a group of Green Action members. It went out to freshers in September, providing information about shops, organisations, facilities and people in Leeds who can help students adopt a more ethical lifestyle. It is already being improved for next year – email benmilner to find out how you can get involved.


10.3 What is Critical Mass, when and where is it, and who does the publicity?

Critical Mass occurs when enough cyclists take to the road together to feel safe cycling around main roads, and make a stand for cyclists’ rights. On the Leeds Critical Mass, we try to do a lap or two of the city centre, and make the event fun and colourful. We want to make the point to motorists that cyclists have as much right to be on the road as they do, if not more – as the flyer says, we’re not blcking traffic, we are traffic. We meet on the last friday of every month in Millenium Square at 5.30pm. Usually we nominate someone to do the leafletting at the closest meeting prior to the date.

10.4 Who organises socials, protests, trips or actions?
Anyone that volunteers to do it! For socials, there is a BandSoc at uni, or we can go the the pub, have a bring-a-dish, go for a walk, see a film at the Common Place, hold an open mike night – whatever you fancy doing really! The rest are equally diverse: badgering the Union, holding stalls, going to music festivals or down to London for marches, writing to MPs, organising workshops or classes… The more people who decide to get something started, the more fun we’ll have and the more difference we’ll make!