Southern AZ Raw

December 9, 2017

Subject: Vendor change to BRDF


BRDF will be the only vendor for SAR. 
We will no longer be placing orders with Superior Farms Lamb, Meier's EV or GreenTripe.

We worked with BRDF to offer more variety to match the items and prices for the vendors we replaced. More variety means members won’t need to place large orders from only one vendor every 3-6 months.
BRDF now offers 4 tripe items similar to the popular items from GT.
There is currently an issue sourcing venison in the east which drives prices up so we will continue to work with  them  to source venison products at a more affordable price for future orders.
For more information about BRDF products and price list, please check out the website.
Check out price comparison here:
https://goo.gl/eaFSJZ

​November 26, 2017
Subject:  IMPORTANT - Updated Payment information

SAR will no longer be accepting payments via PayPal.
The preferred method of payment is Zelle.  Please visit our website for updated payment information:
http://www.southernazraw.com/invoice---payment.html
Please note that if you choose to mail a check, there will be a longer delay since it will be mailed out of state, therefore electronic payment method is preferred.

A delay in receiving and depositing the checks, will ultimately result in a delay in receiving the shipment so for a shorter turnaround time, please consider using online payment instead of mailing a check.

​​November 8, 2017

Subject:  BRDF price list now available on SAR website


We have updated the price and product list for the BRDF vendor and it is now available to view.  Please go to the SAR website for detailed information and to access the price list.
There are many new products available, including a variety of lamb and tripe products similar to what our other vendors.  In most cases, BRDF was able to meet or beat the other vendor's prices.  Due to sourcing and pricing issues, BRDF is not able to offer venison on the December order but we will be discussing this with the vendor after the new year. 
This updated list took months of work for both the vendor and us, so at this time, we will not be adding any new items.
Please make sure to read the information on our website for the product content and packaging information. 
As you can imagine, we are both very busy due to our recent relocations due to job changes, so please make sure to check the website for information.  You can send an email but we can't guarantee a quick response time at this point.

December 8, 2017

Subject: BRDF order closing


The BRDF order is closing on Sun, Dec 10.
We intend to open the order again on Feb 1 however, for future orders, they will stay open for only 7 days.
If we are able to continue with this order volume, we will plan to open the order every other month.

September 25, 2017


Subject: Changes with SAR


New Email: SouthernAZRaw@gmail.com


We have some important changes to announce.  Both SAR admins are currently planning out of state moves, however we would like to see SAR continue operating and we are both willing to continue supporting its efforts as long as we get volunteers to handle all the Tucson distributions.  
With both of us being busy moving, we will not be opening another order until December 1st and it will be with the BRDF vendor.  We have had continued communications with them and although our last order had some issues, they have assigned a new account manager to us and are promising to do a better job of communicating with us.  They also have some new products and we will share the product and price list with everyone probably in early November sometime.  We will also be posting a volunteer list for the Tucson distribution in Nov sometime and we'll be looking for 2 people who are capable of doing an inventory of the pallet and distributing the cases to members (more details to follow).
Thanks for your patience and we'll be in touch before the Dec 1st BRDF order!

December 6, 2017

Subject:  BRDF order frequency (and more)


Also posted on our Facebook page


I just spoke to the BRDF vendor/owner and he let me know that some of our members are contacting him about the frequency of our orders. If you need details not found on our website, please send us an email. The vendor is not able to provide SAR group information.
The frequency of our group orders is decided by the admins and not by the vendor. Factors that affect our decision are how often are we likely to reach our minimum # of lbs for the maximum discount.
Here's how it works: The vendor provided the discount tier based on # of lbs ordered; for each order, he supplies us a list of product availability with updated prices. The prices listed on our website are for the highest discount offered (10%) so we monitor order stats to ensure that we have reached the min # of lbs to get that price. Since we started this group in Dec 2014, we have never canceled an order; the most likely scenario is that we may leave the order open a bit longer to reach the minimum.
As for the frequency of orders, we need more historical data to determine order frequency and we don't have enough data points yet. We are 'tentatively' aiming for orders every other month but this could change. Our goal is to get the minimum number of pounds to get the maximum discount for each order; so it makes no sense to order more frequently but pay more for the products.
- Emailing the vendor is not the best method to obtain info; Email SAR, then we will reach out to the vendor and post the info for other members who may have the same question.
- Please email SAR for information NOT found on our website; unfortunately we don't have time to answer emails for info already found on the website.
- If the prices/products are posted, we have confirmed prior to posting, so no need to email us to double-check (prices are based on more factors than just size of packages, so use the price/lb as a guideline to save $).
- We don't have time to reply to emails, texts, PMs asking if we have reached the min # of lbs. (PS - if you have already asked, you are not the only one 😉 )
- Please do not delay sending payment to find out if min lbs has been reached; if you received an invoice, the min # of lbs has been reached for the highest discount.
- We can only 'tentatively' estimate delivery/distribution; again, this has more to do with our group and not the vendor. You may be surprised to learn that on every order so far, we have had issues with at least 1/3 of all payments. If you want the shortest turn around time from ordering to pickup, follow the invoice and payment guidelines on the website. Since our orders are >$15000, we need all payments before we send a PO to the vendor therefore payment receipt has been the biggest bottleneck to quick delivery.
- if you are hesitant to order based on previous issues, I have worked with this vendor to ensure that the pallets are wrapped differently (penalties if the trucker unwraps them during transit to adjust the load) AND there will be defrost indicators in at least one case per pallet to ensure that the pallet has been at proper temp during transit (trucker will not know which cases contain indicators).
- I am considering shortening the time an order is open from 10 days to 7 days to expedite the delivery time, however....
- Distribution is more dependent on payments received than any other factor.
- All orders must be by the whole case, however with the convenient packaging, they are easy to split with other members. For cost, variety and freezer space, the best way to split with other members is to post on FB and clearly state the item and your location (Tucson or Phoenix); it's also a good practice to start a new post for each new split.
- If the website is not clear, please send an email to let us know how we can improve communication.


​November 11, 2017

Subject:  More Info and Tucson Volunteers needed


​BULK RAW DOG FOOD
BRDF is the name of our vendor.  The company was started by a guy named Brian who contacted us in June 2016.  By the time we were looking for a new vendor, Brian sold his business to Maverick Pet Food.  Maverick has two commercial product lines however BRDF is their only raw product line with no additional fruits/veggies or vitamins/supplements.  

ONE VENDOR - MORE VARIETY
Bridget and I wanted to see this group continue even after we both (unexpectedly) moved out of AZ for new jobs, so we decided to make BRDF our only vendor.  To replace our other vendors, we worked with BRDF for more variety and better prices.  BRDF is now offering our group items to replace the lamb products from Superior Farms, created 3 new tripe products similar to those offered by Green Tripe and in most cases, meet or beat those other vendors’ prices.  We worked on getting venison items but sourcing and pricing was an issue for the December order so we will work on it again after the new year.  We even added some goat and pork products to the list.
Currently there are 77 items in 10 different protein sources (plus beef green tripe). With the variety of items in blends, single ingredient (case lot), organ, muscle/heart meat and bones, our members will be able to order as needed for just a month or two instead of needing to stock up on multiple cases from one vendor every 3-4 months.  We have not yet decided on the order frequency but we guesstimate that we should reach the minimum order required for the highest discount every OTHER month.  Of course, we can’t promise anything right now; we will need to evaluate frequency based on order response the first few times.

PRICES
There was some discussion on FB during the previous order that the prices are high.  We requested a custom prey model raw ground blend with only meat, bones and organ (liver and kidney) so it is perfect for those feeding cats (obligate carnivores) and/or an all animal-based diet to their dogs.  You can choose to add to these blends for any dietary or health issues or feed as is (I add a bit of Taurine powder for my cats).  While it is true that some of the blends are higher $ per lb than some raw feeders might spend, keep in mind the cost of convenience.  Since these are prey model raw blends, there is no need to buy 3 or 4 different items to make your own.  You will save time on shopping, processing and portioning.  And in many cases, buying smaller amounts of some items is more expensive than buying in bulk.  Most of the blends are available in patties which are perfect for small dogs and cats and the blends are available in 2 lb and 5 lb bricks as well.  In some cases, smaller packaging might be cheaper per lb than larger sizes so make sure to check the price per lb instead of case price to compare prices.  
If you are not interested in ground blends, there is a good variety of hearts, organs and necks as well as some other raw meaty bones parts.  Most of these items are packaged in 3 lb vacuum packed bags so there is no waste with ice or water AND no need to thaw, split and portion 40 lb cases.  If you buy a 30 lb case, you will get 30 lbs of product.  Many of the case lot items I have purchased in the past from other vendors contained 10-15% of waste with water, ice and in the case of chicken necks: heads.
Variety, such as Rabbit. Duck and Bison, are more expensive at Lee Lees, Suzy’s or Hare Today especially if you add in tax and shipping.
BRDF packaging also makes the cases easy to split with other members so you can get more protein variety in your pet’s diet or if you want to try a new item before buying an entire case.

PREVIOUS LOGISTICAL ISSUES
Our first order with Maverick was much larger than expected (as well as weather issues) that caused some logistical issues.  I have been working with the owner of Maverick to ensure these issues do not re-occur.  Based on our discussions, Maverick’s owner has put in place safeguards to ensure pallets cannot be dismantled by truckers along the route; they will be wrapped and include signage warning against breaking pallets, therefore the pallets will arrive at the frozen storage facilities intact with no lost cases.  Maverick will also include defrost detector devices in some designated cases so that when the pallet is received, the person doing the inventory will be able to check if they have been defrosted and re-frozen.

SAR MEMBERS RESPONSIBILITY
Since Bridget and I need time to adjust to our new homes, jobs and cities, we are relying on our members to help out.  Unfortunately, we don’t have time to answer individual emails especially when the information can already be found on our website.  We also don’t have time to chase payments.  As SAR members, if you want this group to continue, we need you to ensure that you manage your email so you can receive invoices and make sure you pay those invoices upon receipt.  Please do not wait to see if the order has reached the minimum; we will just keep the order open longer, if not.  Since we started this group in Dec of 2014, we have never canceled an order.  So please pay invoices as soon as they are received. Please don’t make us chase payments; we simply don’t have the time to do so.  In the past we have sent reminders, but we may just need to cancel orders if invoices remain unpaid.

TUCSON DISTRIBUTION VOLUNTEERS
(no volunteers needed for ACS/Phoenix area members)
For those who pickup their order at Tucson Frozen Storage (TFS), we need to rely on volunteers since Bridget and I no longer live in AZ.  TFS staff will not inventory pallets, so we need two people to arrive 30 minutes prior to distribution and properly inventory the pallet to ensure that the pallet contains not just the number of cases, but the exact items on our order sheet.  At least one of those volunteers needs to be able to lift 40 lbs.  So far in 2017 we had an average of 24 Tucson orders.  IF we have one order every other month going forward, this will require only 12 volunteers per year.  Surely, we will have Tucson members committed to keeping this group going by volunteering 2 hours per year.  Bridget and I have committed to remotely handling the operations for this group but we need committed volunteers.  We have created a volunteer sign up sheet.  Please enter your information if you are willing and able to volunteer.  Then, when we know the delivery date, we will set the date for distribution and reach out to those volunteers on the list to see who is available.  Once we get two volunteers for the next distribution, we will email the inventory and distribution lists.

Tucson Distribution Volunteer List:  
https://goo.gl/rcYkiV

Dec 2017 BRDF Product & Price List:  
https://goo.gl/xkphvA
The first tab is ALL items available; other tabs are same items grouped by type.

SAR MEMBER COMMUNICATIONS