Hog Haven Kicked Out of Fairlington
Yes, it's true. As to the reason, this is somewhat nebulous and no direct discussion has taken place between us and the committee that’s made this decision. Not that we haven’t made repeated attempts to find out why. We’ve sent several long emails and a letter directed at anyone who would listen, but this has yielded only one short anonymous response accusing us of being dishonest and putting the market manager “at risk” by listing her email address on a social media post.
As many of you may have seen and remember, we did make some posts mid/late last year asking customers to contact Fairlington representatives and tell them, *if* they agreed with us, that keeping us from cooking at the market was hurting us pretty badly and was not contributing in any meaningful way to safety. I mean, this just was our honest opinion on the matter and we knew many of you agreed. So we only wanted them to know that.
And that’s it. There was nothing more to it, and there was nothing “dishonest” in any of the posts. We did feel strongly at the time that we were possibly fighting for the life of our business, but the effort was only to employ the truth in the matter as we saw it and start a debate on the subject. [If you’d like to review those messages to see if you don’t agree, you can do so by following this LINK. There were only 6 short posts over the course of about 4 months.]
The other issue they’ve pointed to in their brief, anonymous response (you can read that message, too, HERE), was that we had used the “personal email” of an individual involved with the matter in one of the later posts. So, this was done in one post. The market manager’s email was shared with the market’s customer base in a market related post. The address in question was the email used by the manager to communicate on market matters to the vendors and so in our view it’s not really reasonable to describe the address as personal, nor is it reasonable to claim that sharing the address with the customer base somehow put this person “at risk”.
This seems far fetched. Furthermore, in our experience at many other markets, it is the primary job of the manager to be the face of the market and field any and all questions and concerns from both vendors AND customers alike. The Fairlington Committee is made up of volunteers, but the manager is in a paid position. To say their email address should be kept private from customers is in our view a gross misunderstanding of what the job of the market manager is, and it was a complete surprise to us when she took that position. Despite this, we still, immediately when asked, removed the email from the post and apologized for any inconvenience. We have in fact been completely compliant and civil throughout the COVID crisis and never been accused of violating any market rule or health regulation. It would seem our only crime was respectfully disagreeing on a minor policy issue early on and trying to spur an honest debate on the matter.
So to all our great customers who have supported us over the last 5 years, who understand that we are not some sort of unscrupulous operation (quite the opposite), and who look forward to the start of the market every year and their Sunday Hog Haven breakfast sandwiches, we hope you will let the committee know you don’t want Hog Haven kicked out in this way. If they won’t listen to us, maybe they will to you? Anyway, as they apparently are not inclined to communicate with us, there seems to be no other hope except a preponderance of customers letting them know that this is not what you want and you’d like Hog Haven products to remain available to you.
As far as how to go about this. We have no knowledge of any direct contacts of any of the committee members, nor their names, and if we did, well I suppose we would refrain from sharing that information, as it is apparently against the committee's wishes that it be publicly divulged, but we can refer you to 3 general email addresses that if you copy your messages to all three, we assume, we hope at least, it will filter through to your neighborhood committee. They are as follows:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are also email addresses for the heads of the Fairlington Citizen's Association: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
And lastly, we have setup an online petition that we would ask everyone to sign by clicking HERE.
We thank you greatly for your help and support.
Rob and Verde
Hog Haven Farm