How do you take a hobby to a professional level? For example, how do you go from a love of cooking and go on to sell homemade jams to make a profit? Unfortunately it’s not simply a case of finding a group of people who think your produce is delicious and who are willing to pay you for it. In the UK in particular there are a number of regulatory and administrative hurdles to overcome. However it is doable and many people sell homemade jams as a way of making a career out of a hobby they enjoy.
There are some practical considerations before you start – quite simply you need to ensure your supply. You can bulk buy bottles and jars at Wares of Knutsford but you also need to make sure your fresh produce is available, even out of season.
The rules about selling homemade jam
Any foods made to be sold to the public must adhere to certain hygiene standards. Your local trading standards agency and environmental health department can provide you with more comprehensive information, but as a rule the first essential step is to obtain a food hygiene certificate.
If you are selling online there are certain other regulations which apply, and you will need to register at the Environmental Health Department as well as take their advice.
Labels count when selling homemade jam
You must also make sure that any food you plan to sell, whether online, in local shops or at a farmers market, is correctly labelled. Labelling regulations are strictly enforced and you must comply to be allowed to sell. First of all, the weight of the product must be clearly displayed, in metric or imperial format. Approved equipment must be used to obtain the weight, which must not include the packaging.
The name of the food must be clearly displayed, while you must also state clearly on the packaging if any additives were used in the production, such as flavourings, sweeteners and preservatives. You need also to include a ‘Use by’ or ‘Best before’ date, a list of ingredients, storage instructions – such as if a product needs to be refrigerated once open – and treatments or processes included in the production such as ‘previously frozen’. If your produce highlights the name of an ingredient, such as ‘mango chutney’ for example, you must state the percentage of the ingredient in the finished product.
Don’t be daunted by the red tape surrounding selling homemade jam – it sounds very strict but actually a lot of the the rules involve basic common sense.