Our Statements

Below you will find official statements from Santos Organics.

COVID-19: Statement from Jolene Ryan, General Manager

 “Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” -Raymond Lindquist

It’s been a unique and unfamiliar time for all of us…

Thank you to our customers for shopping and adapting with us around the ever changing world of COVID-19, which is almost every day. We miss your chats, hugs and stories shared while in the shops, cafes and garden spaces and we look forward to those days returning.

I am so grateful for the strength and diligence of our team working under much more demanding circumstances both personally and professionally, all while providing great service to our dedicated customers and keeping the shops stocked, clean and safe. 

Our team and community have remained so positive during this time, which will continue to support us moving through to the other side of this pandemic event even stronger than before.

As an essential business we are open as usual, but it’s not business as usual for us in many ways:

  • You may be met with a greeter at the front door limiting the number of customers in the store
  • The greeter will provide you with key information that’s pertinent to your shopping experience once you enter the store
  • Hand sanitizing and social distancing of 1.5 meters is a must to enter the store and while you are shopping
  • You will also see signs around the store that provide guidance on our current procedures to keep you and our team safe
  • Our Naturopaths may be wearing face shields
  • Our team may be wearing gloves and/or face masks if they feel more comfortable doing so. They will be required to change them out regularly to ensure they are effective
  • Our Byron Bay CBD and Mullumbimby Cafes are temporarily closed
  • Our A&I Café is open M-F from 8-12pm for take away only: coffee, juices , smoothies and selling our nourishing in house prepared food
  • We are selling prepared foods in all stores made in house for grab and go, take home and heat up or freeze for later use
  • Local curbside pickups and home deliveries
    • You may shop via email or phone with your local store to support your special circumstances during this time
    • You may request to pick up or have your order delivered to your door
    • Please click here to get more details
  • Our bulk section will keep evolving (we know this one is tough as we practice and offer sustainable options for our customers, but we must adapt to ensure everyone’s safety is our first priority)
    • Please do not bring your own containers, bottles or bags to reuse during this time (NO BYOC or BYOB)
    • We will convert our tubs of bulk into pre-pack, so you may grab and go to reduce risk
    • Our bulk chutes will remain and the large jars will likely evolve into small jars or small pre-packs for grab and go to reduce risk
    • Hand sanitizing and mindfulness is very important in this area
  • Local handmade hemp face-masks are now available for purchase in all three stores and supplies will remain available based on demand until they run out
  • You will see that some stock is limited or unavailable, while we are ordering and suppliers are delivering to us as fast as they can, everyone is running low on certain food and remedy basics. We continue to look for new items or replenishment items for these important items
  • We will limit the number of items you may purchase when limited supplies are available, so we may support as many customers as possible to meet their needs
  • Our gardens and sitting areas are closed to support social distancing
  • We are working diligently to make more options available online, stay tuned…

Thank you for your patience and flexibility with our new procedures. Please expect each time you visit, there may be changes/additions to our procedures to keep you and our teams safe.

The silver lining for me, to watch the creativity, love and support that unfolds during challenging and changing times. Let’s stand strong, wash those hands, keep our distance and use the time to go in, reflect, rest, exercise, create and have fun in our own way. Let’s practice more self care and kindness to others and practice mindfulness, knowing we’re all in this together, doing the very best we can and the only thing we can control is how we react.

While we know it will be an Easter to remember, we hope yours is filled with nourishing food and drink and finding a new way to connect with those you aren’t able to see in person.

Be well,

Jolene Ryan
General Manager

COVID-19: An Important Update For Our Shoppers

LAST UPDATED: Wednesday 1 April 2020

All three Santos Organics stores are open as we are an essential business. We have set up hygiene stations and social distancing measures throughout our stores, so you can feel safe when shopping with us. Please shop online or phone in your order if you are unwell.

Due to unprecedented sales for our stores and online, we are experiencing shortages in stock levels for dry goods, remedy and hygiene products. We are working diligently with our suppliers to rebuild our stock levels and where possible increase our levels to support the current demand. We have introduced product restrictions to ensure that everyone is able to access essential items.

This is unchartered territory for all of us, may we all do our best to remain thoughtful, kind, calm, empathetic and most of all courteous. We appreciate your patience and support. Please contact us if you have any special circumstances that you need our assistance with.

Read on for some important information and advice relating to shopping at Santos during the pandemic, we will keep updating this information as and when required:

Trading Hours at our Stores & Cafes
Store hours are normal and Santos Organics does not plan to close the stores. However due to Government regulations our cafes in Byron and Mullumbimby are now closed until further notice. The cafe at Byron Arts & Industrial Estate will be open for take-away hot drinks only, from Mon-Fri 9am-12pm, otherwise closed.

Restrictions
To be able to provide access to the essential products for everyone in the community, we have decided to temporarily restrict purchases on the following products:

  • All Santos and any other brand packaged goods per product type – 2 units
  • All bulk products – 2 kilos (there will be no selling of slabs, cases or 25kg sacks)
  • Tins – 2 units per product type (no slabs)
  • Tomato bases – 2 units
  • Toilet paper – 2 unit
  • Paper towels – 2 units
  • Tissues – 2 units
  • Hand sanitisers – 2 units (once stock arrives)
  • Remedy – 1-2 units or per Naturopath direction

We will monitor our levels and make adjustments as necessary to restrict or increase quantities based on our supply levels. By doing this we are aiming to keep supplies available for all of our shoppers.

Returns
We are temporarily suspending our refund policy to discourage over-purchasing and further reduce spread of COVID-19 through potentially contaminated returned products. From the 19 March 2020, until further notice, we will not provide a refund where you have changed your mind about products purchased from Santos Organics.

If you have already purchased additional items you no longer want, please look at donating them to community organisations or neighbours who have been struggling to purchase them during this time.

Customer Behaviour
If you are showing any flu like symptoms including: cough, fever, congestion or sore throat please consider alternative methods of shopping with us such as online, calling or emailing an order or calling in a consult with our Naturopaths – see our website for contact details.

Together with our store employees we’ve agreed on new conditions of entry to our stores:

  • Our team will be practicing social distancing with 1.5 metre distance between one another where possible. We ask customers to be mindful of this too. We will be avoiding unnecessary human contact such as hand shakes, hugging and instead we will opt for smiles, verbal hellos, namaste gesture or hand on heart to let you know we are happy to see you
  • Use our natural hand sanitiser to assist us in preventing the spread of COVID-19 prior to entering the shop
  • Practice good hygiene in our stores including using our natural hand sanitiser before using the scoops and utensils in our bulk section and when using the EFTPOS machine or handling money
  • Respect other customers and look out for those less able
  • Respect our restriction policy so we don’t have to bring up ‘working our system’, there will be enough for everyone if you buy only what you need
  • We remind you that we will not accept any violent behaviour (verbal or physical) in or around our stores and the police will be called immediately if required
  • May we all be kind, be calm, be empathetic and most of all be courteous

In return, we are supporting and advising our employees and have implemented thorough hygiene procedures to ensure you can shop with confidence.

We thank you for your understanding and continued patience as our teams work hard to support you and our local community, and we look forward to serving you the best way we can throughout these unexpected times.

For more information and the latest updates please check this page or our Facebook Page 

Kind regards,
Santos Organics

New Card Payment Processing Fees

Valued Customers and Community,

Each time we accept payment by card, we incur a transaction cost for processing both debit and credit card payments. Card use has been on a significant rise with more convenient options like PayWay. These conveniences cost businesses more money than ever before by incurring higher transaction costs that are applied by banks and card issuers, costing us tens of thousands of dollars annually.

This means that we are now facing a substantial annual operational cost that is impacting our ability to meet our desired objectives of serving our community and supporting other not-for-profit organisations through our grants and donations.

As we don’t want to increase the costs of our products to cover these fees, we are applying a 1.5% surcharge on all card transactions starting 1 April 2020. Should you wish to avoid the surcharge we invite you to pay with cash.

Thank you for your understanding!

Santos Bamboo keep cups

We’d love to tell you a bit about our Santos bamboo keep cups and what they are made from, since there has recently been some mixed information in the media about bamboo cups / tableware and the melamine-formaldehyde resin used in the manufacture of these cups. We also want to take this opportunity to demystify some information about melamine and formaldehyde – 2 chemical compounds that are not as scary as we all think!

The Santos keep cups are made from a type of bamboo fibreware, which has been manufactured in accordance with strict EU food safety standards and regulations. The material of these cups comprises approximately 75% bamboo fibre and a resin of 25%.

The resin is made up of formaldehyde and organic compound melamine and the manufacturers of these cups have carried out specific testing with independent institutions such as TÜV Rheinland to ensure compliance with the EU’s strict food contact safety regulations ((EC) No 1935/2004 and (EC) No 10/2011) and to show that the presence of these chemical compounds do not exceed prescribed EU limits (Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 and its amendments).

Specifically, testing for the migration of formaldehyde articles within the scope of (EU) No 284/2011 and 2,4,6-Triamino and 1,3,5-Triazine (Melamine) was carried out on these cups by simulating a liquid of 3% acetic acid (similar to coffee) at a temperature of 70 degrees for a period of 2 hours. The tests showed that the amount of these chemical compounds in the liquid was significantly less than the prescribed EU limits and that they successfully passed the testing process. A copy of the independent test results commissioned by the manufacturer of our cups can be found HERE.

In looking at these test results, it is important to note that the simulated conditions are extreme and therefore in practical terms, this means that our actual exposure to formaldehyde and melamine from drinking a hot drink (not exceeding 70 degrees Celsius) in these cups over a few minutes is extremely and negligibly low, to non-existent.

However, as a health conscious community, when we hear that something contains formaldehyde, our immediate response tends to be that it is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. While this is certainly true when it comes to high levels of exposure to formaldehyde at an occupational level, a little known fact about formaldehyde is that it also occurs naturally as part of human metabolic process, as well as in many fruits and vegetables, including apples, bananas, grapes, plums, onions, carrots and spinach and we are exposed to it regularly without any apparent, hazardous or detrimental effects on our health. You can find out more in this interesting article by the International Food Information Council Foundation which talks about the safety and prevalence of formaldehyde in our daily lives and the negligible impact that it has on our health in small amounts.

Similarly, when we think of melamine foodware, we commonly respond to this with the same hesitation and trepidation. Over the years, there has been information in the media about the leaching of melamine components 2,4,6-Triamino and 1,3,5-Triazine into food coming into contact with melamine. This report by the World Health Organisation demystifies this information and also formed an important part of our research when considering selling these cups.

One of the reasons that we wanted to share all this information with you is because there has recently been an article on bamboo coffee cups and tableware by a German consumer group Stiftung Warentest that caught our attention. This article says that there were “high levels” of melamine and formaldehyde when similar tests to those described above were carried out consecutively and repeatedly. The article states that these chemical compounds were present after numerous tests but does agree that generally melamine resin is harmless as long as certain conditions are met – namely that liquids contained within them do not exceed a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius for prolonged periods of time (ie. longer than 2 hours). Interestingly, the report does not give a numerical reading of these “high” levels and how it compares to the EU standards but similar articles have since followed and we have explored all the information as it has become available to ensure that our research is kept up to date.

As a result, after much consideration and research, we have concluded that the Santos keep cups are safe to contain drinks (or foods) as long as they are NOT used in microwaves or ovens or filled with drinks exceeding a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius and they are NOT kept at this temperature for periods longer than 2 hours. We’d also like to let you know that the coffee that we serve at our cafes is always less than 70 degrees Celsius (and consumed in much less time than 2 hours!) so you can rest assured that our cups are not only safe but also a great contribution towards eliminating single-use waste!