Farmer's Market question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by kesoaps, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    I'm filling out an application right now and it asks about value added products. What does this mean?

    The products I'm planning on bringing are sheep milk soaps and wool products, along with a few notecards with photos of the farm and sheep.

    TIA for any insight :)
     
  2. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    depends on their interperitaion . value addedmay mean bought product you coloured or bought meat you cooked.your soap and wool were from your sheep and you made them from your milk and shearing . can't get more homespun from that!i would ask your vender coordinator for a clarification .some folks may have a different idea of value added but usually this is to seperate out the fleamarket bought all product from the artisan/ home made persons.
     

  3. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Yeah, I guess it depends on the definition ... I've always thought "value added" meant anything that is processed ... for instance, selling strawberry jam instead of plain strawberries.

    I'd also recommend calling the market manager for clarification ...
     
  4. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

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    The way "value added" is interpreted with my markets is that you produce some sort of raw material,(fruits, veggies, wool), then further process it, (jams, canned/dried foods, yarn or wool clothing, etc.) and sell the finished product.

    Basically, you sell and keep the profit from not only your raw material, but for the finished product also, hence, the "added value". This way, your customers can purchase a finished product from you, knowing that you did everything involved in getting that particular product from the seed/tree/sheep to the market.

    April
     
  5. Bonnie L

    Bonnie L Well-Known Member

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    At our farmer's markets, value added is anything done to make a product look or taste different. If I sell basil, even if I wash it, there is no value added. If I cook it into jelly, there is value added.

    At our market, everything you listed would be value added.
     
  6. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Well, the milk certainly tastes different once it's turned into soap :haha:

    Seems as though there are a number of descriptions out there for the term value added. Thanks for everyone's replies!
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    It does require some interpretation. We don't even ask about value added, just self produced. A value added item to me is somethign you buy and then add value to, like a basket you sel your flowers in or a sweatshirt you embroider somethign on to. You didn't make the base item but you added value to it.
     
  8. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    You might want to be observant at your farmer's market to make sure you are being placed next to people who are authentic farmers and bringing their own products to market.

    On ebay right now you can buy big blocks of milk soap which you then re-process into bars "for your local farmer's market." Now, if we're being purely technical here, this is a value added product because you take the raw material and add scent or herbs or whatever, reprocess it, and end up with a "new" product.

    But it sure isn't fair competition with someone who is doing it start to finish!

    I specialize in illusion, and I'm not the only one out there. The research on the traveling public shows that they are hungry for "authentic" experiences... 61% in fact want to experience "new and authentic cultures." And for most of the public, that means farmer's markets are big draws. In my own town someone who can spin out an illusion and do it well can do very well at the weekly farmer's market.

    But that doesn't make it fair. Or possibly even ethical. Our farm market has very loose rules, but most are a bit tighter on what constitutes a legitimate "value added" product, and it isn't buying wool yarn from a large mill on cones and then re-packaging it as skeins under your own (private) label.

    Sorry to bring up the less than pleasant, but you need to be aware not only of what you're selling, but what people are selling around you so the playing field is as level as possible. We've got one woman around here selling "Organic Vermont Soaps" under her own label.

    They ARE organic Vermont soaps, but they're not made in her kitchen as her booth would seem to imply... they're made by a large manufacturer in a large factory, bought in bulk, and re-branded by this woman.

    She's sitting across the green from a couple who really does make hand made soaps. Only, of course, theirs aren't quite as pretty and symetrical as hers and she's killing them. I personally don't think that is entirely fair since she's not exactly selling the whole truth.
     
  9. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Good points, Morrison. I agree, rebatched soap and Melt and Pour (which totally gripes me in many settings!) are certainly different than the soaps that are made using cold or hot process!

    I've drenched myself in the rules (now that I've found them online...why don't they send them along with the app?) and it appears that the soap is a value added product, much like Bonnie or Moonwolf stated. Raw wool is the base, spun is value added. Milk alone is base, soap is value added. So at least I've got that much straightened out :)

    Thanks for everyone's input!
     
  10. limey

    limey Well-Known Member

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    Are you by any chance applying at the Olympia Farmers Market (it sounds like one of their application questions)? If so, call the Market Manager immediately for clarification - the Oly market is extremely finicky about what you can and cannot sell, and has their own definitions for the meaning of phrases!!! I used to be on their board, so I speak from experience!!!
     
  11. Bonnie L

    Bonnie L Well-Known Member

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    I think I need a brain transplant! :eek: I had it backwards in my post. "Value added" means taking a bought item - I buy plain white silk scarves - then I add value by hand dying with my homemade dyes.

    Our farmer's market would not allow melt & pour & similar items - not enough value added.
     
  12. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    melt and pour and rebatch soap can be your own home made base. i think what morrison was talking was factory made soap in new "homespun" packaging. sheeps milk soap can also be made with a base and adding a percentage of sheep milk(or goat,mares,cow etc milk)to the mix . kesoap just wait till you get the customers saying "look, goats milk soap!!!!" :haha: :haha: melt and pour shrink less than freshmade soaps. do they have a percent limit that you must produce?