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Labelling & Selling Homemade Jam in the UK with AA Labels

Labelling & Selling Homemade Jam in the UK with AA Labels

Labelling & Selling Homemade Jam in the UK with AA Labels

Are you thinking about selling your homemade jam? Whether you are looking to set up a business from your kitchen table or try a side hustle to earn extra cash, there are many products that you can make from home.

Researching UK regulations for making and selling homemade products can feel like a minefield, so we’ve compiled a useful guide to labelling and selling jam and preserves. From food safety and hygiene to registering your business and paying VAT, we’ve got all the tips you need to get started.

If you’re looking to create and print jar labels for your homemade jam, take a look at our pre-designed jam label templates or print your custom labels.

Jam making in the UK

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a slice of toast or a scone that’s liberally coated in a hearty layer of sticky, sweet jam. Especially if it’s packed with fresh fruit!

This quintessentially British tradition historically dates back to long before the invention of refrigerators, when preserving food meant all the difference when food was scarce. Today’s jam however, is more about the taste and enjoyment we get from unique and flavoursome fruit creations.

Shop bought jams are often full of sugar and artificial flavours, so jam and preserve making offers an opportunity to experiment with flavours and ingredients, and produce something that is much more natural.

If you want to get in to making your own jam, there are literally thousands of recipes and guides online that can help you decide on flavours, as well as illustrate the jam-making process. For example the jam recipes available from BBC Good Food will help to help you get started, if you need some inspiration.

Once you get going though, you’ll undoubtedly want to push things further and experiment with your own preferences and flavour combinations.

Can I sell homemade jam & preserves?

Yes, you can sell your homemade jam and preserves in the UK, providing you follow food safety and hygiene regulations, label your products correctly and declare any income that you generate.

If you would like to sell your homemade jam then there are a number of actions that you need to take prior to selling your products:

  • Register with the Food Standards Agency
  • Register as self-employed
  • Kitchen regulations & selling homemade food in the UK
  • Jam labelling: how to label homemade products
  • Jam labelling: food safe labels and inks
  • Jam labelling: understanding label symbols
  • How to store homemade jam
  • Building a homemade jam business: where to sell preserves
  • Useful resources for starting a homemade jam business

Register with the Food Standards Agency

If you’re selling any food for consumption, you must register with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and comply with the rules and regulations of the Food Safety Act 1990, which covers all legislation regarding food. These rules apply to all regardless of the size of your business, the location of your operation (e.g. home based or commercial premises) and how your products are sold (e.g. face-to-face or online).

  • Registration is free and is legally required for any premises being used for food preparation
  • You must also register with your local authority at least 28 days before you start trading

Registration applies to all catering premises where you’re making and packaging your jam, so if you are teamed up with someone and split production between your homes, theirs will need to be registered as well.

However, the above guidelines don’t apply if you’re gifting your jam to friends and family.

Register as self-employed

If you plan to sell your homemade jam then you need to register as being self-employed. This will enable you to register for VAT if needs be and gain advice on how to correctly keep records of all income and expenses.

Who would have thought selling jam could get so complicated? The complexity of what will be required from you greatly depends upon how far you’re pushing your jam business. For example, if you’re just selling a few jars here and there at the local country fete, then the process is somewhat simpler than if you’re trying to get shelf space at a national supermarket.

You can find more information on setting up a business via the UK Government website, Business Wales or NI Business . For local support and guidance, as well as access to grants and training, contact your Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Hub.

Kitchen regulations & selling homemade food in the UK

Safety and hygiene are the priority when preparing and selling homemade food in the UK. Good food hygiene should be a key consideration from the start, as the most common hygiene issues can be avoided by planning for and implementing the 4Cs:

  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Chilling
  • Cross-contamination

The purpose of registering your premises with your local authority is to enable you to officially produce food for consumption and as a registered producer, you will be subject to inspections from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

FSA inspections are designed to ensure that the food you’re producing is safe to eat. An inspection will involve a full check of your premises, how you work, the kinds of food you make or prepare, as well as the food safety management systems you have in place.

For food safety and hygiene guidance to help you start selling homemade food, including jam and preserves, read the FSA’s checklist for new businesses .

Jam labelling: how to label homemade products

Alongside food safety, product labelling is one of the most important aspects to research and adhere to when preparing food to sell on to others, including homemade jam. Most of the UK’s food labelling laws originate from European Union legislation (and have been retained following Brexit) and are designed to ensure that consumers are fully informed about ingredients and allergies, when purchasing food and drink.

The naming of your homemade jam is key. A product must contain a minimum of 60% sugar in order to be classed and labelled as jam or marmalade. Inspectors will look to see how your jam is described, and how clearly the ingredients are displayed on the label.

The following must be included and be clearly visible on your jam label:

  • The name and address of your business
  • Ingredients listed by weight in descending order
  • Quantitative declaration of ingredients - an ingredient’s percentage where it appears in the name of the product, e.g. strawberry jam
  • Any ingredient that is a common allergen – this must be marked in a way that stands out, e.g. CAPITALS, bold or italic text
  • A ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ date – waste reduction charity WRAP provides further advice on food date labelling

Accurate labelling of allergens is vital, as a customer could potentially purchase something that may be harmful without even knowing. There are 14 common allergens that must be clearly displayed if they are an ingredient in your product:

  • Gluten
  • Lupin
  • Celery
  • Crustaceans
  • Milk
  • Sulphur dioxide
  • Sesame
  • Molluscs
  • Mustard
  • Tree nuts
  • Egg
  • Fish
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts

Often product labels will also list ingredients that it ‘may contain’. This wording is generally used where the product might have come into contact with traces of ingredients, such as nuts or seeds, in shared preparation areas, for example, and therefore may still pose a risk to anyone with a serious allergy.

For further guidance, take the Food Standard Agency’s food labelling e-learning course .

Use our free customisable jam label templates to start creating your product labels or have your designs professionally printed with our custom printed labels service.

Jam labelling: food safe labels and inks

If you intend to label your jam then you must ensure that food safe inks, label materials and adhesives are used and that they meet government regulations.

Food grade ink should be used on all printed surfaces. This is suitable for use on food products themselves and their labels, as it poses no risk to consumers, and is compatible with inkjet printers. It can also be used on a wide range of label stock materials, including paper and polymer.

At AA Labels, our food safe inks have been carefully sourced and rigorously tested to ensure consumer safety. When choosing our custom printed labels. service, your jam labels will be made using food grade inks and materials, and our experts can provide additional advice to ensure your jam labelling meets all requirements.

Jam labelling: understanding label symbols

When designing labels for your jam, you may want to include some well-known symbols within the product information. These symbols are designed to help consumers easily identify products that are suitable for vegetarians or vegans, recyclable or made from sustainable resources, and act as additional trust signals when it comes to making purchasing decisions.

Your jam labelling may benefit from the inclusion of some of the following symbols and country equivalents, dependent on your market/s:

  • Food Safe – indicates materials that are suitable for and intended to be in contact with food
  • Keep Britain Tidy – encourages the responsible disposal of product packaging
  • Period After Opening (PAO) – how long the product can be used for once opened
  • Recycling – indicates packaging that is suitable for recycling
  • Organic – can only be used where at least 95% of ingredients are organic

How to store homemade jam

Yes, you can sell your homemade jam and preserves in the UK, providing you follow food safety and hygiene regulations, label your products correctly and declare any income that you generate.

How do you plan to package and store your homemade jam? Since your products are being sold (rather than being shared as gifts), the snappily titled EC Regulations 1935/2004 and 2023/2006 dictate that you have to use a brand new jar for every product, each and every time.

So, it’s no good offering a reward scheme to customers who bring theirs back; it’s got to be a new jar every time. If you want your homemade jam business to be environmentally-friendly you will need to explore other ways to reduce or reuse packaging, such as jars made from recycled glass.

Find jam jars in all shapes and sizes at Jars Direct and ensure you include recommended storage conditions on the product label, e.g. ‘store in a cool, dry place’ or ‘refrigerate after opening’.

Building a homemade jam business: where to sell preserves

There are many ways to build your homemade jam business and increase sales, both online and offline.

What local businesses are there in your area? Most independent companies look for ways to differentiate their product offering and customer experience, and offering local produce is one way they can do this.

Make a list of all the independent businesses in your local area that you could approach:

  • Delis, cafes and other eateries
  • Hotels and B&Bs
  • Farm shops and farmers’ markets
  • Gift shops

Increase the reach of your products and boost sales by selling and promoting your homemade jam online via the following outlets:

  • Etsy
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Social media
  • Build your own website with help from sites like GoDaddy and Squarespace

You can also raise awareness of your products and further build your homemade jam business by entering local food awards, working with bloggers and influencers, and getting to know local food writers.

Useful resources for starting a homemade jam business

Hopefully, the AA Labels guide to labelling and selling homemade jam has helped your venture into the world of preserve-making entrepreneurialism. Take a look at the resources below for more in-depth information on the regulations surrounding food preparation, labelling and selling.

Use our free jam label templates to design your packaging or order your food safe printed labels online .

Posted in: Crafts & Hobbies

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