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.
However the black currants were unaffected and we had very good black currants; so many in fact that we didn’t know what to do with them all. Unlike machine picked black currants our black currants 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 black currants to pick.
Looking at the internet I discovered that there is a big market for frozen and fresh black currants 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 black currants 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 vacuum seal them.I then enclosed this bag in another lighter bag just in case the bag was not perfectly sealed. We do two sizes fir mail orders namely a 1.5kg and 4kg package which we dispatch in express mail bags. All the bags once packaged were put back in the cool room until dispatch which was planned for the Monday. However for locals either near us or in Tasmania we can dispatch in any size and freight is generally cheaper.
On advice from FarmHouse Direct we send them via the Perth Post office 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.
With these processes in place the system seems to work well. Deliveries as far as Queensland often get there the next day.
So to all our customers thank you for your support . And to all out there more suggestions would be appreciated.