Thursday 4 November 2010

What price a jar of chutney?

Here's a problem.

We sold chutney at our recent Apple Day.  It was made from donated apples, store cupboard ingredients and green tomatoes from the HVCC Kitchen Garden that otherwise would have gone to waste. A jar of the same quantity of locally produced chutney retails in Budgens at £2.   

These were the options:  

0.00p - the ingredients were all free (donated or waste)

£2.00 - the same amount of chutney as the Budgens' jar, therefore the same price

£2.50 - same as above but with a recipe included

£3.00 - the chutney was made with love, care and attention.  Also we know where the ingredients come from - note a Belgian beer is twice the price if it comes from a particular monastery.

£1,00- being handmade is not necessarily a good thing - was a strict hygiene regime followed?

0.50p - we made too much - sell it off!

So what do you think we should have charged?  And why?  It did taste nice...


  1. I can vouch for the fact it did taste nice and is definitely worth as much as its shop bought equivalent.
    This is a really interesting point, simply made. Things should be valued for the emotional input as well as just the cost price of the ingredients. Also we need to challenge the whole concept of cheaply available food.
    Food should be viewed as a integral part of our cultural experience and not just as a commodity to re-fuel our bodies.

  2. perhaps
    a) ask people to pay what they think it's worth

    b) agree with richard about challenging concept of cheap food (though we're not capable of challenging the reality yet...) in fact shifting our whole warped attitude to food and its value is a crucial issue.

    why not line up a number of identical jars with different prices and explanatory labels:
    [assume x hours went into making it]

    jar 1)
    made and given with love.
    a 'purchase' by and from people who don't have to worry where they'll sleep that night, whether they'll eat, and whether they can afford a doctor if they're ill. when we look at our lives like that we can afford to give to each other.

    jar 2)
    cost your labour at minimum wage.
    (people will baulk at the price!)

    jar 3)
    cost your labour at the average wage of a crouch ender.

    jar 4)
    price it as if made by heston / gordon with local seasonal ingredients and sold in selfridges

    jar 5)
    price as made by damien hirst to display in a gallery.

  3. I always was interested in this subject and stock still am, thanks for posting.

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