Blackcurrants

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In 2014 we started selling black currants on line. Our entre into this market was  heavily supported by Farmhousedirect and Australia Post. The following is the article that was written at that time. we have learnt a lot since that time about packaging and handling and hope we will have the opportunity to supply you once again.

Black currants

Black currants

How did this come about you may ask? Well you may be aware that this spring the weather was very wet and cold. Obviously the bees didn’t do their job and as a result trees which were in blossom at that time didn’t get pollinated. As a result we hardly had any apricots.

lots of blackcurrants

lots of blackcurrants

However the blackcurrants were unaffected and we had very good blackcurrants; so many in fact that we didn’t know what to do with them all. Unlike machine picked blackcurrants our blackcurrants are washed and clean of stalks and other foreign matter. This makes them ideal for desserts and of course jams.

 

We made lots of blackcurrant jam and mixed berry jam and froze a lot but still there were more blackcurrants to pick.

we made lots of blackcurrant jam

we made lots of blackcurrant jam

Blackcurrants everywhere

Blackcurrants everywhere

Looking at the internet I discovered that there is a big market for frozen and fresh blackcurrants in the United States. Maybe we could do the same here!

I then contacted Farmhousedirect who handle our products for on-line sales as well as many other similar producers. They were very supportive and we arranged for a special sale to happen with dispatch to go out the following Monday by Express Post.

Well I was dumbfounded for within a couple of hours all our blackcurrants were sold. In fact due to an error in my ad we really didn’t have enough.

Now we were entering new territory. How were we going to get these items to our customers? My experience is that they didn’t deteriorate quickly in our chilled coolroom. However they did tend to juice and the skins became softer. With this in mind I decided to pack them in heavy duty plastic bags and heat seal the ends. I then enclosed this bag in another lighter bag just in case the bag was not perfectly sealed. A 2kg package fitted well in one of our own purpose made boxes.  All the boxes once packaged were put back in the cool room until despatch which was planned for the Monday.

On advice from FarmHouse Direct we drove to Perth just outside of Launceston , Tasmania so as to be at an Express Post outlet. We had now discovered that all Post Offices in Australia were not equal. In fact there was not only a National Network but a State Network too. And to further complicate matters if you moved into another State Network all bets were off as to how long it took to get there.

We didn’t examine these conditions in great detail at the time as we weren’t really aware of these loop holes in the Express Post network. We were also not aware that transit time would play such a role in getting these parcels to our customers in good shape. In hindsight we should have checked all postal codes and been more specific in warning our customers that they had to be in one of the appropriate Express Post Networks. However it being summer and extremely hot weather conditions were prevailing on advice again from Vanessa at Farmhouse Direct we did confine deliveries to Tasmania, Victoria and N.S.W.

42 thoughts on “Blackcurrants

  1. I live on the sunshine coast. I would love to buy fresh blackcurrants on a regular basis. Is there any way I can get your black currants up to Queensland?

    Helena

    • We will have blackcurrants next year in about late January. We would be pleased to supply you then. Sometimes there is a problem with freight and we would definitely use Express Post. How quick it gets to you depends where in Queensland you are. Lets talk about that and work something out for then if yo are still interested.
      regards Denis

  2. would love you to advise when fresh or frozen black currants wee available just for postage. I live in new and by daughter has crowns disease. I am always looking for things to help her bloods and energy levels and tonight I have watched a program on super foods and as far as berries with anti oxidants black currants was on top. Would love to know more

    Thankyou, would purchase regularly 😊

  3. Hi Denis, my family and I are after fresh black currants (like Helana 2014 post) we are in Brisbane and Sydney. Is there a way to organise this. Cheers Heidi

  4. Hi There, I was wondering whether you have stockists in Sydney. I would like to order some blackcurrants because of the high contents of antioxidants.

    Cheers
    Mirjana

  5. Denis I would be delighted to be able to buy 3 kg of frozen/fresh blackcurrants from you – to make Blackcurrant jam. I think your idea of keeping some frozen for delivery in the cooler months is a good idea. Or packaging them in polystyrene boxes with a frozen freezer pack. I shall check farmhousedirect. But certainly would be interested in any that are frozen now.

    • hi Catherine, Where do you live? Though frozen when they leave here they could start fermenting if they don’t get to you in time.
      So we need to talk about logistics. A possibility is that we make the blackcurrent jam and send it to you in pails or jars. We already make a blackcurrant jam which I don’t know if you have tried. you can contact me on 03-63725500
      regards Denis

  6. Hello there, I am delighted to find a possible source of (my favourite) blackcurrants in Australia! However I am in Perth WA, are you able to deliver here?

  7. To Dennis Buchanan,
    Here’s an emergency call from NSW.
    Coles deleted Blackcurrant Jam,… 50%fruit and richly delicious, not too sweet… from its list in April this year 2016. DISASTER. There is nothing to replace it.
    It has always sold out faster than any other jam at our Coles. It is superior in quality to any other jam. Woollies’ attempt at the same is inedible. The excuse they give is ‘didn’t sell’… so why isn’t its obvious quality promoted properly?
    For years the anthocyanin content is known; recent SBS science shows it is many times as effective from blackcurrants as from anything else. The fruit from Australia is marvellous. I won’t buy imported competition. I will be without jam.
    I am devastated to see how this top quality product is not recognised by the people so well paid to do “jobs n growth” and wealth pushing.
    The supplier was SPC Ardmona Victoria. Coles has not relayed to them all the complaints since the deletion of Blackcurrant Jam. SPC says it would have to restart a supply using another brand… well, terrific, just get going!!
    Above all, don’t let growers take out their bushes. We need this beautiful product, and people in Tas and Vic need the jobs and creative outlet from using it.
    Thankyou, please contact me with progress, 02 6545 3005

      • Hi Dennis , When Woolworths changed from Australian Blackcurrant jam to the imported version , we stopped buying it. However there is no way of knowing who their source was , so we would like to try yours , we are on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland , is there anybody in our area who buy commercial quantities from whom we could purchase a jar to try? Or if feasible we purchase one from you.

  8. Hi, i live in Melbourne and am looking to buy blackcurrants to make blackcurrant jelly. How do i find out what you have and how much it is ?

  9. Hi I live in NSW and would like to order some frozen/refresh blackcurrent. No stock on farmhouse direct. Is there another way to order?

    Thanks Jess

  10. So happy to know we have life giving blackcurrants in Australia, used to eat ’em in England & Scotland, yum.
    Could you send me some frozen bags to Perth in West Australia ? Thanks from Amanda.

    • We cannot send fresh or frozen blackcurrants to
      Western Australia because of quarantine restrictions. We do however make blackcurrant products such as Blackcurrant jam and concentrated berry juice. that’s about it

  11. I would like a kilo of frozen blackcurrants to be sent to me in ALD (postcode 4109).
    What is the cost and delivery time?
    Regards Geoff Hodge

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