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Vegetable grower-shipper kicks off Florida broccoli season
CarbAmericas, importer of fresh fruits and vegetables, kicks off its Florida broccoli program next week with a new season of growing in the Sunshine State. Broccoli harvesting will continue through mid-April.
The Florida harvest complements the company’s established Mexico and East Coast offerings. This year, the Florida program accounts for more than 400 acres of their broccoli program, nearly doubling their volume from 2016. Growing in Florida allows CarbAmericas to offer customers a year-round broccoli program.
“We’ve done a lot of research and continue to work closely with our seed partners to perfect the varieties for this climate,” said Jeff Friedman, president of CarbAmericas. “We currently grow seedlings in greenhouses which helps us get better yields and consistent sizing. We are also working with new seed varieties that we trialed last year and proved worthy of our program.”
Also on their side is their relationship with grower TJ Bratcher, whose family brings over 30 years of experience to the operation. Last month, the Flagler County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship awarded Bratcher and his family with a certificate of outstanding achievement for implementing environmentally sound stewardship practice as a thank you for their commitment to Florida’s environment. Bratcher and his family currently grow seedlings in greenhouses in the state.
Additionally, CarbAmericas attributes some of the success of the program to an ideal location.
“Our location in North Florida places us at a perfect location for freight,” said Danny Pollak, vice president of sales of CarbAmericas. “We can utilize trucks coming from various locations south of us who have just come from loading produce such as blueberries and strawberries. We can be in cities like Boston and New York in a day and a half to two days and are able to provide our customers with a quicker and more efficient supply chain.”
Later this month, CarbAmericas will begin building a packing plant which will be used to not only pack and ship broccoli but also other items such as cauliflower, potatoes, squash and cucumbers to name a few. The facility is projected to be completed by late summer 2018 and will be in full operation for next year’s December crop.
This season, CarbAmericas will ship Asian Cut Crown broccoli in wax boxes, iced from an onsite machine out of Bunnell, Fla. Orders can also be placed for iceless crowns upon request.
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Publication date: 12/7/2017
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