Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Irish Farmer's Markets

Sofie suggested recently that I should join a Farmer's Market to sell my preserves (I brought a jar of homemade cheese along) as she thinks they would sell like hot stones. That got me thinking....why not. So I went out to get some information....and do some planning....
The following questions needed to be answered by myself...:
  1. What produce shall I sell
  2. What do I need in order to make the produce
  3. Which market should I choose
  4. What are the costs involved
  5. How much do I have to charge?
  6. Are there regulations I have to consider

To the last question....yeap there are regulations (would have been to easy otherwise). You will need a public liability insurance to cover up to a minimum of €1.4m. And depending on the food you are selling, you will need one or more certificates from the food board. If you are preparing food at home for re-selling you will need a cert from NSAI called I.S 344:2002 etc etc etc...I started to read about it and thought then....that life is too short (I only consider it a past time and not my main means of support).

Then, what are the costs involved? First of all, I only use jam jars I already have (clever brains call it recycling) and there were always enough to make a batch and give it to friends as gifts but suddenly, I tried to buy jam jars....and surprise surprise, I didn't find any. I got 2 jars from Brennans for 3.50 each (considering the costs of the food added....not feasible I think) - and that would answer also the question on what to charge - a fortune at that.

And these information before I actually decided what to produce....I didn't even try to find answers for the rest of the questions. So I will continue to make my chutneys, jams, relishes and the cheeses....just for fun and friends....

But I take a bow to all the great producers out there who went through the bureaucracy to stand at the market in rain, wind and hail (and the odd sunny day) and are always great in sharing their knowledge.....I admire you all and I will keep coming and buying but no selling - for sure :-)


Barcelona Culture said...

I usd to live in Dublin and I used to go to a weekend market in Dublin (like a farmers market but small and was actually in Temple bar there).
One thing worth copying is the hot spicy cider and it is cheap to make but extremely popular and you can make good profit margains. The Irish winter certainly makes the hot cider popular also :)

Elke said...

It sounds yummy....and the Temple Bar Market is still active and not that small anymore. Will try to make the hot cider....if not for selling than for myself for these long winter nights in front of the fire...