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Thread: UK Laws - Tallow?
26-01-2009 05:39 PM #1Junior Member Junior crafter
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I recently moved to the UK and my husband suggested I begin selling my soaps to bring in a little extra money, yet be able to stay with my little one and finish getting my M.A. I've been searching the web for days to find a clear cut definition of the laws here but I am still a little confused and I was wondering if you ladies in all of your soap making wisdom could help me. I make what I suppose you would call traditional handmade soap, something I don't think most do - probably because the smell of bubbling fat is not terribly appealing. Haha
My first question is tallow. Can I sell soap made from tallow if I make the tallow myself? I'm allergic to so much that when I was 15 my mom taught me how to make homesteaders soap, so I buy the fat, melt it down, let it seperate, cure it, and then melt it down again to make my soap. I saw something breifly that said you couldn't use tallow, but that didn't seem to make sense to me.
Do I have to certify every batch? The butcher only has so much fat at one time. I can only make a 20lb block AT MOST with what he has available to me.
Where can I get my soap certified? That is if I can get it certified.
I don't add perfumes or colors, only herbs and grains (oatmeal, wheat, etc.)...I'm assuming these will still have to be approved correct?
Some have said the soap market is too competitive here, but I was reading on other threads that you just have to make a name for yourself. Which is true for any business, so I was just wondering if traditional soap is a market over here.
26-01-2009 05:44 PM #2
26-01-2009 05:55 PM #3
Tallow is still used by a few of the big boys, but not many.
I heard - though stand to be corrected - that tallow is to be banned in the EU soon - as I don't use it I didn't pay too much attention.
Where are you from?
Any soap made to be sold has to be safety assessed - costs between £100 - £200 per formula/recipe. Failure to comply with EU regs can result in hefty fines.
Check out www.justasoap.co.uk or the soapkitchen.co.uk for more information - I've not used them but I know many smaller soapers do.
26-01-2009 06:05 PM #4Junior Member Junior crafter
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Well fudge - I wonder why they would ban tallow. I hope that doesn't mean that I won't be able to buy it anymore - even if I don't sell it the real reason I make it is for myself, becauseif I can't make it I can't use soap!
I'm from America and I moved to Suffolk. It's so pretty here, and I have a butcher that doesn't look at me funny when I ask for fat! It was the first time in a decade that a butcher hasn't given me a weird look, he just asked what I was making and when I told him soap he gave me cord fat - which is the best stuff for soap-making. Needless to say I love my butcher now lol.
26-01-2009 06:08 PM #5
Like I said - I stand to be corrected on tallow being banned - I actually find that public perception of tallow is that they don't like it - or though I understand lamb fat makes a lovely soap.
26-01-2009 06:24 PM #6
Best person to contact would be Sarah Janes as she is an agent for soapers wanting to obtain a Safety Assessment (required by law in order to sell soaps). Assessment will need to be obtained quickly as the EU will be "recasting" the Cosmetics Directive during early spring providing it is passed through the European Parliament.
Soap kitchen still have refined tallow on their books but very few soapers who sell handmade soap use it.
I've not seen anything about the banning of tallow in cosmetics but the EU are finalising the enforcement re the ban on cosmetics and ingredients being tested on animals this year sometime (it has been phasing in over the last year or two.
I do doubt whether there would be much of a market for tallow soap in the UK as various oils were being imported from the early Middle Ages onwards with the major soapworks being in the ports.
Soap-making in the household was not as common as it was in the US.
30-01-2009 09:54 AM #7Senior Member 100+ crafts club
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Late answer.... Tallow (dripping uk) = lard = animal fat for ingredients and no problem with the certification...
It makes amazing lathery soap as well... Mind you I do prefer the roast potatoes done with it. and I was brought up with it on bread...lol .
31-01-2009 01:44 PM #8
I second Fairy's comments...
Lard is perfectly acceptable for certification purposes - I have it on my own... Can't say I fancy the idea of rendering my own fat personally...
Got to be honest, it does make a harder bar with a nice fluffy lather - tis just not quite my cup of tea so I don't make soap containing tallow unless it is by special request...
Elaine's suggestion of contacting Sarah Janes is a really good one... She's apparently a lovely lady to work with for certification purposes and would probably be a good first port of call for someone less experienced with certification than trying to put together a recipe with a diverse range of variable inclusive ingredients...
Would there be a 'big' market for tallow inclusive soaps in the UK? I would doubt it once a customer knows what it is... But for those customers who are happy with tallow as an ingredient, I'd imagine there are few who actually manufacture with it...
Is it included in some highstreet soaps where shoppers just haven't got the foggiest what it is? Yes...
The Soap Cellar
31-01-2009 01:55 PM #9
I came across Penhaligon's (apparently their soaps are used by royalty - going by the crests) website the other day and they're advertising the fact that they use tallow.
Generally you have to look at the ingredients list to find out.
31-01-2009 02:37 PM #10
A new-ish nurse recently suggested a particular brand of soap for a family member with damaged skin (she didn't know we made our own) which has tallow in it...
I expressed surprise that she'd recommend it given she herself had already mentioned at a previous visit that she was a veggie... She was not a happy bunny and really thought I was talking twaddle initially - but it's plain as day on the label...
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