Does anybody consign their preserves?
I have 2 co-ops interested in some kind of arrangement. One that I was considering joining until I saw their prices (not that good, I can do better at BJ's, Job Lot, and shopping grocery stores sales for the flour and bulk goods I need, and things like frozen vegetables - we don't eat frozen dinners). They have a pickup once a month but are willing to let me "advertise" in their newsletter so people can buy from me directly, hopefully once a week. I have to get them a list of what I grow/preserve and have a meeting with the board end of the month. Hope they'll let me join for the $10 so I can advertise in newletter even if I don't ever order anything (right now cream of tartar is good price, and if Job Lot goes up I'll be ordering Bob's Red Mill flour through co-op in the future). I will probably have to offer a discount to co-op members, but I don't think the board wants a commission.
The other co-op wants to buy my produce wholesale, and says I can consign my preserves (which are not allowed to be sold wholesale by residential farmers). They would take 2x/wk or weekly deliveries, but are flexible and said if I'm doing market and am out of something, they will take less/none some weeks. But they want 25% commission on the preserves! My profit margin isn't that high, and if they price the jars lower than I do ($6/jar for normal half pints of jam, $8 for specialty items like Wild Blueberry Syrup) I could be "losing" money - that is, I would be getting less than the cost of sugar, jars, electricity, and what my retail price for the fruit would be. Though if the fruit I grow is "free" then I'd be making money. This co-op also wants to be named insured ($50 unless I change agents). I'm not sure about the first co-op.
WWYD? If anyone consigns canned goods or other value-added products, what kind of commission do you pay? I'm used to wholesale being 40-50% off retail prices of produce, should I refigure my cost of making jam based on 50% of retail price for fruit, plus full cost of supplies (jars, sugar, labels, electricity) and tell them I need to get at least $X/jar based on that (plus some % for profit?)?
I won't be able to support both co-ops and a farmer's market (if the co-ops take off), and market is taking a head count now so I need to make a decision ASAP. The nice thing is the co-ops could end up being full-year for canned goods, and definitely a longer season for produce than the mid-June to Oct 1 market (another new market starting this year is only 8 weeks, July and Aug!).