VALUE ADDING - How To Add Value to Your Produce! 

By processing farm produce, partially or fully, before it is sold, a farmer can increase the price which that produce is sold for. This is an increasingly important way to increase the profitability of a farm.


Typical examples of value added products include:

  • Jams, preserves, chutneys and sauces produced from raw fruits.
  • Cheese, yoghurt and butter produced from milk (including cattle, sheep and goats milk)
  • Leather produced from animal hides - this can be further processed to create leather goods, adding significantly to its value.
  • Grapes (or other fruit) dried (to produce dried fruit), crushed (to produce juice) or fermented (to produce alcoholic beverages).
  • Cut flowers dried, pressed or treated in some other way to produce longer lasting products.
  • Herb crafts, dried herbs, essential oils, produced from fresh herbs.
  • Wool/fleece from various animals (e.g. sheep, goats, alpacas), or plant fibre, can be spun and used to make yarn, fabric, clothing or blankets, etc.
  • Oil extraction from plant or animal products.


Value adding may make you subject to regulations which otherwise might not have applied. This is particularly the case with food products, where the production, packaging and sale of foodstuffs is governed by health and other regulations.


Value adding can involve many extra costs; including such things as processing equipment, extra water and power, licences & permits, packaging and labelling, and storage facilities; so you need to thoroughly investigate what is involved, and try to weigh up the potential benefits before making any significant investment.


In some instances the value adding operation might be best tackled as a joint venture or cooperative effort between several farms (eg. canning fruit, production of fruit juices, etc). This approach can offer many economies of scale (ie. It might not be economically viable for one farm to set up a processing plant because they would not use the facility enough, to achieve a pay back on the investment. Several farms though would share the cost of establishing the plant). A cooperative effort can also offer marketing advantages, for example, because there is a greater amount of produce, it can be more viable to make a significant marketing effort.


In summary, value adding is becoming an increasingly important aspect of agriculture.

Want to Learn More?

Click here to see all of our Agriculture & Farming courses

Recommended Reading from the ACS Bookshop
This full colour e-book will set you on the path towards profit in a world where markets, technology and climates are changing as never before. Profitable Farming features a comprehensive survey of new enterprise possibilities and many new opportunities available for making money from the land. Click here for more details
We talked earlier about making jams and chutneys as a way to add value to your produce.
Think how much you would charge for a pound of damsons, compared to a nicely presented jam.
Many farms have farm shops today, where they offer individual and high quality produce direct from the farm.
Customers are attracted to the idea of the produce being fresh and good quality and will often pay more for produce from a farm shop than they would from a supermarket.
So why not make offer products like jams and chutneys?
If you are not sure how to proceed, then our Food Preserving eBook offers some excellent advice.  
This is a handy and practical ebook. Take advantage of seasonally abundant fruit and vegetables and preserve them to eat when they are not in season locally. Save money and eat healthy, home prepared and preserved food. Easy methods that anybody can follow, this ebook is an essential addition to your ebook library.
There are many reasons why we may get involved in preserving food:
  • To extend shelf life and become more Self Sufficient
  • Convenience
  • To retain nutritional value
  • To improve flavour of food
  • To reduce food waste
  • To produce gifts for friends
  • To start a business
Whatever your reason, this book is an exceptionally valuable introduction that covers all of the important techniques, and gives you a fundamental understanding of what can be preserved, and the various ways it can be preserved.
Adding value to your produce does not just have to be for farmers and smallholders!
More and more people today are growing their own vegetables, herbs and fruits.  If you produce too much, why waste it, you can also sell this for a profit or use as gifts for others.
If you have not started producing your own food yet, then think carefully about the types of produce you would like to grow.  It is no good spending months growing beautiful ripe tomatoes, when no one in your household likes tomatoes.
BUT if you are planning to grow them to sell or use in another way, such as to make chutneys, then that is great. 
Just think carefully about what you want to grow.
If you have never grown vegetables before and are not really sure where to start, then our Home Vegetable Growing course can be a useful starting point. 
In eight lessons, you will learn how to cultivate your vegetables, grow them, harvest and store them.  You will also learn about irrigation and much more. All through the course, your tutor will be there to support you.
If vegetables do not really interest you, then why not consider Home Fruit Growing or Growing Herbs.
Whether you are a farmer, smallholder or someone who wants to grow their own produce, we can help provide you with useful knowledge on how to improve your profitability and quality of your produce.
If you would like further information or have any questions, please click here for free, confidential advice.