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UK Laws - Tallow?

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  • UK Laws - Tallow?

    Hello!
    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.

  • #2
    I wonder if your niche market would be at reenactment fairs? sorry can't help with the legal side soap is not my thing.
    "You've Got to Keep Your Mind Wide Open" - AnnaSophia Robb
    my Folksy shop Goldy'sclearoutblog debaynewebdesign


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    • #3
      Hi MeCo7707

      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.

      HTH

      Jane
      www.just-soaps.com
      Twitter JUSTSOAPS
      FB www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Soaps/258910018463
      Natural Handmade Olive Oil Soaps and Skincare free from SLS, Parabens, and other Nasties

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      • #4
        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.

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        • #5
          Hi
          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.

          Jane
          www.just-soaps.com
          Twitter JUSTSOAPS
          FB www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Soaps/258910018463
          Natural Handmade Olive Oil Soaps and Skincare free from SLS, Parabens, and other Nasties

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          • #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.
            ElaineJ soap and other stuff
            website
            blog

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            • #7
              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 .

              "Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies."
              www.fairyalchemy.co.uk
              fairyalchemy.blogspot.com



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              • #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...

                HTH x
                Ann-Marie
                The Soap Cellar

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                • #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.
                  ElaineJ soap and other stuff
                  website
                  blog

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ElaineJ View Post
                    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.
                    I wish my customers would pay that for soap...

                    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...
                    Ann-Marie
                    The Soap Cellar

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                    • #11
                      I wish my customers would pay that for soap
                      Would be nice wouldn't it??
                      ElaineJ soap and other stuff
                      website
                      blog

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                      • #12
                        It sounds to me as if you could make a go of this. Everyone says that finding a niche product is the way to go in a competitive market.
                        I would say find out as much as you can about the properties and benefits of tallow soap and then use that info to market your soap accordingly.
                        Good luck.

                        Melanie

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                        • #13
                          I contacted Sarah Janes and tallow isn't illegal, but evidentally it's terribly difficult to get certified to use it. So I'm going to move forward with castile soap I think - in the meantime my husband is loving the batch of homesteaders soap I just made so at least it will be going to good use!

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                          • #14
                            That's a bit of a shame for you...

                            Might it be worth you trying a batch using Lard? It's a white animal fat used here regularly in cooking and available in any supermarket? I've not tried home rendered fat but I have used Lard and it does bring a noticeable difference to the recipe...

                            You would be able to obtain an MSDS from the original supplier... When I needed one for Trex* to include it on my assessment I found the parent company Edible Oils Ltd very helpful and they emailed me one over straight away...

                            All I did was contact Trex and explained and they pointed me to Edible Oils... Whoever is listed on the Lard packaging should be able to do the same thing...

                            *a solid vegetable oil available in the supermarket... For those "oh heck I've forgotten to place my order and am itching to make some soap" days...
                            Ann-Marie
                            The Soap Cellar

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                            • #15
                              I'm really puzzled why it is hard to get assessed using tallow, when it is available in every supermarket?

                              Is it actually tallow per se that is the problem, or the fact you render it yourself?

                              What are the EU gonna object to next??!?!

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