April 19, 2011

I thought that I would give you a quick update to let you know what’s going on with the soap making.  To make a long story short, Charlie and I are making a very cautious rolling start.  What does that mean?

  • We’re (I’m) still trying to find an ethical coconut oil supplier.  I’ve been unable to find a supplier that is certified both organic and Fair Trade.  Right now, I’m following-up on leads from the Fair Trade Federation.  I’m trying to find a supplier that has declared an intention to become certified and that operates by Fair Trade principles.  I’m also looking for a supplier who is operating using organic methods.  I realize that organic certification is expensive, and those living in economically challenged communities may not have  the funding for organic certification.  If Frustrated Farmgirl is profitable enough, I would love to be able to help suppliers become certified organic.
  • I know that some of you are ready to buy.  Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to start selling soap until I find a great coconut oil supplier.  I decided not to go with the coconut oil supplier that I was looking at before.  All I can say is that I kept getting a catch in my gut- do you know what I mean?  That feeling that something just isn’t right.  It felt like they were using the label “Fair Trade” without the heart of the movement.  As a foundation of Frustrated Farmgirl, I’m trying to do something about poverty.  If a supplier doesn’t pass my gut check (along with my list of questions) that they’re trying to do something about poverty, too, then I can’t use them.
  • Once I find a coconut oil supplier, I’m ready to order more olive oil and shea butter.  Charlie and I have decided to pay a higher price for the olive oil in the short-term in order to be able to order smaller quantities.  This will help us minimize our risk by decreasing our immediate out-of-pocket expenses and by decreasing the amount of space that our supplies will occupy in our garage.
  • I also need to order larger molds and stock up on other supplies (a new hand mixer, more organic essential oils, parchment, etc.).
  • As part of our discerning, learning and data collection process, Charlie and I will be attending the Fair Trade Federation Annual Conference in Milwaukee May 6-8.  We’re looking forward to a great time of learning with each other.

That’s it for now.  I’ll keep you posted.


3 Responses to “Update”

  1. oooh dear friend, I miss you!!!
    I miss our chats and having a front seat view of your journey!

  2. […] Trade, organic ingredients proved to be very difficult.  You can read more about that here, here and here.  So, how does this relate?  It’s this:  something has to give.  […]

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