Subscription Orders

What are ‘Subscriptions’?

‘Subscriptions’ are a service offered by some shops on the OFN platform. As a customer, if you have a ‘subscription’ from a shop then you will have an order placed on your behalf at a regular interval.

If you buy the same items from your local OFN shop every week, fortnight or month it is worth asking them if you can have a subscription order. It may save you time and subscriptions can offer security to the local food economy if producers know they can expect a minimum income each month.

How do I set one up?

To set up a subscription you will need to get in touch with the shop you normally purchase from. Their contact details are found under the ‘Contact’ tab.

Not all shops offer subscriptions and for those who do, the range of products available on subscription may be more limited than their entire range. But it is always worth asking, if this is something you would like!

If a shop is able to organise a subscription for you, they will need to know the following information:

  • The email address associated with your OFN account.

  • The items you would like to purchase on a regular basis.

  • Your preferred collection/delivery time/day for your regular order.

  • Your preferred method of payment for your regular order.

  • The frequency which you would like the order (weekly, fortnightly, monthly…)

  • Start and end date (if you are giving a subscription as a gift you may like it to run for a limited time rather than indefinitely).

You will need to register for an OFN account and have an active email address in order for the business to set your subscription up.

Paying for a Subscription by card

If you would like to pay for your subscription order by card then it is necessary to add and save a card to your OFN account and tick the box to ‘Allow Charges?’ to the shop you would like the subscription with:

If you have more than one card saved in your account then it is the one with the ‘default’ box checked which will be debited when payment for your subscription order is requested.

If you change your default card then it will be necessary to re-check the 'Allow Charges to Default Card' box under' Authorised Shops to for payments for any subscriptions you have with those shops to be processed.

What to expect

Every time an order is automatically generated for you, an email will be sent to inform you of its contents. If one of the items in your subscription is not in stock that week/month (perhaps the baker is ill and is unable to bake bread) then the quantity in your email confirmation will read ‘0’.

The email will also inform you of the current price of each item. Over time prices may fluctuate. The cost of your subscription will reflect the current cost and not the cost when the subscription was first created.

Changing your subscription order

Some shops may allow customers to remove items from their orders or cancel them altogether, within a limited time frame. In which case you will be sent two emails. The first will notify you that your automated order has been placed and give you a link to follow if you wish to change your order:

Adding to your basket by following this link will generate a second order and you will be directed to the checkout to pay for your additional items separately from those in your subscription.

When orders close for that week/fortnight/month, you will be sent a second email confirming your final order contents and informing you that payment has been taken (if you are paying for your subscription by card- payment will not be automatically taken if you pay for your subscription by cash or bank transfer).

Common questions

I pay by card for my subscription. When will the payment be taken?

The shop you purchase from on the OFN platform opens and closes periodically in what we call ‘order cycles’. You will be sent an email to say your subscription order has been placed when the order cycle corresponding to your subscription opens (ie weekly, fortnightly, monthly). Payment will be taken when the order cycle closes.

I have received an email stating that the payment for my subscription order failed. What should I do?

From time to time, if you pay for your subscription by card, you may receive the following email. Don't worry!

What to do next:

  • Get in touch with the business with whom you have a subscription and they will be able to let you know how to pay for this particular week's/month's order.

  • Before your next order, log into your OFN account and visit the 'Credit Cards' tab. In the UK you can follow this link:

  • Check that the 'Allow Charges to Default Card' box is checked next to the business with whom you have a subscription.

You will be asked to periodically re-visit this page and re-check this box. This is an extra security measure brought in by European banks called Strong Card Authentication (SCA). You can read more here.

  • Check that your card registered as 'Default' is in date. Add a new card if necessary.

Can I top up my order by adding extra products?

You can certainly purchase more items each week from your local food enterprise. These extra items will be added to a new order, however, which you will need to pay for via the regular checkout system.

If your local shop charges a small fixed fee per order for delivery/collection then get in touch with them (email and phone number can be found under ‘Contact’). They will be able to remove this fee for your top up second order for you, so that you are not paying twice!

This week I don’t need to have X. Can this be removed for just one week?

Yes, this is certainly possible. The best way to do this is to contact the shop who you are purchasing with and they can adjust your subscription order accordingly.

I would like to add/remove X from my regular order

This is certainly possible. Just drop the shop where you have the subscription with an email or phone call and they can arrange the rest.

I would like to change my regular order to weekly rather than fortnightly.

This is certainly possible. Just drop the shop where you have the subscription with an email or phone call and they can arrange the rest.

I’m going on holiday and don’t want my subscription for the next two weeks.

This is certainly possible. Just drop the shop where you have the subscription with an email or phone call and they can arrange the rest.

There is a zero next to one of the products in my subscription. What does this mean?

The beauty of locally grown and made produce is that it is seasonal. If an item in your regular order is out of stock (for instance lettuce in the winter or bread if the baker is ill that week and can’t bake) then your order confirmation email will have a zero in the quantity column next to it. The balance of your order will be adjusted accordingly.

Will the cost of my subscription remain the same forever?

No. The cost of your subscription will fluctuate based on the current price of the items within it. This is to ensure small producers always receive a fair price for their products.

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