Certification for value added products

Robert Farr rbfarr at erols.com
Fri Apr 19 10:03:19 EDT 2002

Good morning, Sandra (and everyone else, too!).

My business, The Chile Man, is completely certified in acidified food
production (we make hot sauce, salsa, bbq, and mustard), so I can tell
you exactly how to do this!

The first thing to do is check out the FDA's Center for Food Safety &
Nutrition web site -
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov.  There's much information there regarding what
you can and can't do.

You should also talk to your state health department (though they may
refer you to your state Department of Food Safety) about their
requirements.  You may be able to make value-added products in your own
kitchen; you may need a separate kitchen (we did, but were fortunate
enough to have bought a farm which had two kitchens - the downstairs was
at one time used as an apartment).

While you're doing both of those things decide two things:
1.  What products you're going to make
2.  What your farm specialty is.  You can't grow it all.  We realized
this after the first year, and decided to specialize just in peppers.
We do grow some of the other ingredients - elderberries, gooseberries,
basil, cilantro, parsley, horseradish - but we mostly do peppers (and
they're why we'll have as many as 3,000 on-farm visitors this year).

Of course, you'll need to find sources of supply for the ingredients you
need to buy.  Check your local food service companies.

You also need to be able to cook - and you need to be good at
marketing.  Perhaps your local farm co-op or farmers market association
can help.

You can do much of this on your own - try to do as much as possible
without paying anyone for help!  If you do find you need help after
you've run through all of these other steps, give me a call.  I might be
willing to barter for something!

Good luck to you - and good luck expanding (and preserving) your farm.

P.S. - Check out our web site to see how we do it (the URL is below).
And check out this recent bit of press.  It's about value-added farming
& marketing.

Robert Farr
(540) 668-7160
The Chile Man

*  An organic farm producing hot sauce marinades, salsas,
    mustards, and barbecue.
*  Subscribe to our online newsletter at http://www.thechileman.com

*  Check out this article about us from The Washington Post:

*  Open Houses and Farm Tours throughout the year.  See web site for

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