We find it interesting to watch multitudes of new soap vendors attempting to enter the market every year and most will offer a few bars of soap made with Goat Milk. They will inevitably price these bars higher than the others because goat milk is such a prized commodity, both in a liquid form and powdered.
It has also come to our attention that a competitor or two has been telling consumers we use powdered goat milk in our products. Regardless of the industry, it is an unfortunate reality that competitors will try to discredit a rival by spreading false information and innuendo rather than apply the necessary time and effort to craft a premium product that will drive their own sales.
Honey Sweetie Acres uses only real, raw goat milk in all our products.
We build our supply of milk by freezing ½ gallon bags all through the summer, filling three large chest freezers to the max. We do not use powdered goat milk, never have and never will. The indisputable reason for this is based in “science”. Powdered milk is an inferior raw material in terms of enzymes and the natural biologics which we WANT in our soap. If that was not enough, why raise dairy goats at all if we were not going to use the milk? We cannot legally sell the milk in the State of Ohio so there is no monetary incentive there. Pouring the milk down the drain (which many goat breeder do) would give my husband a stroke!
Powdered or Instant milk is used by many soap-makers for a variety of reasons. First, not every soap-maker wants the responsibility of owning and caring for the animals. It is a lot of work! Our work days are easily 16 hours long. There are “costs” to produce milk……feed, water, bedding, medical care and the value of the producer’s time. This is why real goat milk soap is higher in price than other bars of handcrafted soap.
Second, storage of powdered milk is easy. Since the water is removed, the space needed for dehydrated milk is far less and storage temperatures are not critical. It has been pasteurized under high heat and vacuum sealed for incredibly long storage life. Raw goat milk is especially sensitive to heat because of the fat and lipid structures. The chemical structure of powdered milk has been altered, so its ability to moisture and nourish has been altered as well.
Third, when you read the soap ingredients (and they should be listed), in the majority of cases, goat milk is listed far down the list, meaning there isn’t a lot in the soap itself. Let me reiterate….read labels, ask questions…..don’t be shy, it is your money and premium soap is an investment in YOUR skin.
Fourth, real milk must be kept COLD, and in our case frozen because we need SO much to produce our products. We also have to maintain a supply that will get us through the winter when the ladies are not producing. We choose not to burden our does with producing milk AND carrying kids in pregnancy. Once a pregnancy is confirmed, we dry the doe up which allows ALL her nutrition to be dedicated to the developing kids. Pushing a doe to do both will eventually reduce production, potentially damage the mammary system and shorten the long-term productivity and health of the doe herself.
So you ask…..how do you get enough milk to meet the demand as it continues to grow? There isn’t enough time to milk 50 or 100 goats twice a day and make products too!
Every business has to define its own success. We chose to be “Artisan” producers, meaning production in smaller batches to control quality and consistency without becoming factory “automated”, we stay true to “handmade”. It is who we are. We will never be a Dove or a Dial in terms of production. Big isn’t always better.
So, rather than increase the number of goats we personally own, we are partnering with another Nigerian Dwarf Breeder to increase our goat milk supply for 2016. Susan and Junior Ausman of Woodbridge Farm in South Salem, OH are conscientious breeders with an eye on milk sanitation and handling that mirrors our own. Their attention to quality and detail led to winning the ADGA 2014 National Championships in the Nigerian Dwarf division. We are honored to have such high quality does in line to produce surplus milk for us!
Besides having soap made with milk from our own winning does, next year you have the opportunity to buy bars made with the milk from National Champions! (Powdered or canned milk can’t compete with that)! Visit Woodbridge Farm’s website to see their outstanding animals!