Fermenta Cap and Fermenta Lock were designed by Kevin and Laura, owners of Firelight Heritage Farm. Many of the items sold are hand crafted by Firelight Heritage Farm, or by their small business subcontractors.
How We Do It
Some of our products are purchased through suppliers, and resold, but the distinctive original products manufactured by and for Fermenta Cap are not made in large factories, and they are made right here in the US.
Rather than choose to outsource our manufacturing to companies in China or India, we decided to keep as much the labor force here in the US as we possibly can. Getting started with a custom part which is manufactured in a US based factory is prohibitively expensive (there are very few left), and is contrary to our philosophy of independence and encouraging cottage industry. We decided that there MUST be a better way.
The products we manufacture all bear the signs of home manufacture. Each item is slightly unique, in ways that do NOT affect function. We choose the visible imperfections of hand-manufacture, over the flawless and characterless factory production (with so many invisible problems), because we feel that doing so is more advantageous to our customers, our business, and our nation.
We have chosen to subcontract with other small businesses – home based when possible -to expand our operations, rather than to go through more industrialized routes. We feel this return to simpler methods, and to hands-on work, is more in keeping with the philosophies behind home pickling, sourdough bread baking, home production of cultured dairy, and other slow homemade food processes. Just as you take the time to craft the food in your home, we take the time to carefully craft each part that we make.
The visible imperfections in our products become representative of home fermentation: Each item is unique, with it’s own distinct character. Functionally, it all WORKS in the ways that really matter, because the parts that really need to work right in order to produce good food, function without flaw. This is true of our products, and it is true of the foods you produce using them.
Why We Did It
Laura and some of her children had Crohn’s disease, but healed from it using a more traditional whole and natural foods diet. Probiotic foods were an important part of this.
Laura and Kevin understand that most people who culture and ferment their own foods are doing so on a very limited budget, and they cannot afford to pay for equipment that is not durable and reusable. Investing in equipment is one thing, spending and spending every time you make something should be avoided whenever possible. This is the philosophy that goes into every product that Kevin and Laura have created.
Mostly US – Why not ALL U.S.?
Many manufacturing sectors have moved overseas. It is doubtful that they will return. Glass manufacturing, rubber and plastic are a few of those which are impossible to source in the US. Companies that say they are US based are still outsourcing the manufacturing overseas.
This means SOME of the parts we use in assembling some of our products are NOT made in the US. There is simply no other way to get them. The modifications that we make to those parts ARE done here in the US.
We also contract some hand crafting work out selectively outside the US. We ONLY do this when workers who WILL do it at a price that we can afford to pay, are not available in the US. Some of our products are labor intensive. The products are WANTED, but if we raise the price higher than it already is, no one will pay it. The US market has set a maximum price which they will pay for those products. They will not pay more.
Instead of outsourcing to the cheapest place we could, we have developed strategic relationships in the poorest countries. We do not do this for our benefit, but for THEIRS. We partner with non-profit organizations, who are helping to combat child hunger. We provide jobs for the parents of needy children. We have found that when we do this, the price we are able to afford to pay (based on US pricing of the sale of our product), provides a living wage for the workers – a fair wage that does not take advantage of their poverty. They are raised up out of poverty, and their children are no longer hungry. They have sufficient to provide for their children’s educational needs as well.
Because we work with charitable institutions of good repute, the money we pay goes directly to the manufacturers of the product – parents of children. There is nothing skimmed off for management, and only a small fee is paid to the charity for the use of space and for oversight.
All product descriptions state clearly the place of manufacture. We are happy for you to know what is made in the US, and what is not, and WHY some things are not.
The ORIGINAL one-way valve fermenting airlock! Imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery, and we have noticed that our product has been copied by other sellers of fermenting products. Remember, if you see someone else selling a one-way valve airlock for fermenting, THEY copied US, not the other way around! Fermenta Lock is still the only original invention, handmade in the US. If it isn't orange, it isn't the original!
We invented Fermenta Lock, Fermenta Free, and the valve used for Fermenta Fido and other Fermenta Airlock products. We invented Fermenta Dunk Extender. Patents are prohibitively expensive, and designed by the government not to protect the rights of individuals, but to provide another source of revenue and control for the government and lawyers. We are good at what we do. We have endless ideas and endless creativity, and competition does not scare us. Impatient thieves do not scare us - they are too busy taking shortcuts to make a success of it anyway, and they won't want to take the effort to actually MAKE a product and fill orders.
So if you want to copy our idea, go right ahead. If you want to market and sell a competing product, you are welcome to do so, as long as you do not patent our idea - we had it first, and our posts on FaceBook announcing the invention and launch of it will prove that. This idea is officially in the public domain, placed there by us. We will NOT release supply sources, or part names unless you want to buy them - we'll be happy to sell you an instruction kit. If you buy our product, or look at the images and figure it out for yourself, good on you. Compete with us if you like, just don't screw us, and we'll get along just fine. Big companies who might want to screw us may have more money, and more lawyers than we do, but we have more to gain by suing the pants off a big company, and believe me, we will be well motivated to do so if anyone patents our idea and claims it as their own - this is a free idea. Everybody now owns it.
Published June 23, 2012
Wholesale, Export, and Manufacture of this product by other companies is an option. International distributorships are available for those wishing to export. Please email us to inquire about access to our wholesale website, or in regards to manufacturing any of our products.
Business Building Services Are Available - If you are wanting to build a business like this, where you make things in the home and sell them direct to the customer, or if you want to build a business that you can sell to other people as a complete business package, Firelight Heritage Farm is now offering Cottage Industry Services to aid small business owners in building a successful product or service business from the home. Don't know what you want to do? We can help you figure that out too (something original, and just yours, not a canned business). You get the wisdom and uniquely successful perspective and experience of people who have been business, marketing, and website professionals for more than a dozen years. For more information, visit CottageIndustrialRevolution.com. Why copy someone else's business when you can do something uniquely you and enjoy it so much more?