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Farm Direct

Shipping Perishables

While direct sales of  fruit, vegetables, meat and fish are best made on site, person to person, there are many producers who do not have access to enough local customers to sustain their operations... and there are many consumers who want to buy direct, but do not have the time or the wherewithal to find a local source and are willing to pay a premium to have products delivered to their door.

Perishable items may be shipped via UPS, Fedex or USPS in a reusable styrofoam container. The styrofoam container is usually inserted inside an insulated cardboard shipping box (available free of charge from shippers in certain sizes). Frozen gel packs are often used to help keep shipments cold.

Perishable food should be packed in an insulated mailing container. Check with your local post office for advice. Meat and poultry should be cold or frozen and packed wit a cold source. Perishable foods will stay at a safe temperature longest if frozen solid first. Pack the food item with a cold source such as a frozen gel pack or ice mat, or purchase some dry ice from a local ice supplier listed in your telephone yellow pages.

Pack your frozen food and cold source in a heavy foam container or corrugated cardboard. Fill up an empty space with crushed paper or foam popcorn. Air space in the box will cause the food and cold source to thaw faster.

Label the package clearly as "Perishable-Keep Refrigerated" or "Keep Frozen." Arrange a delivery date with the recipient and ship the package by overnight express delivery.

You should alert the recipient to be on the lookout for the package and arrange a delivery time. This will help prevent the food from sitting on the front porch or at the post office for hours or days.

Don’t send perishables to an office or other places that may not have refrigerators available.

Shipping rates to specific destinations vary and are subject to change.

To protect the quality of their perishable shipments, some vendors
  •     avoid shipping during the hottest months of the year
  •     avoid shipping during the coldest months of the year
  •     avoid weekend delivery delays by shipping early in the week only (i.e., Monday-Wednesday)
Perishable items often arrive in a semi-frozen state. Customers should be instructed to refrigerate immediately upon delivery.

Perishable Shipping Resources

Perishable Shipments (Fedex) .pdf file (Acrobat)


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