Caram said Acosta was working with three unnamed test varieties.
The industry is awaiting more late-season production, said Peter Schnebly, co-owner and chief executive officer of Fresh King Inc.
Growers are working with an unnamed experimental variety that shows promise for strong February and March production, he said. However, it could take up to five years to get that variety into commercial production.
“Obviously, we would like to have production 12 months of the year,” Schnebly said. “With the research going on now, who knows when it might happen, but it would have to happen over time.”
Because the deal typically winds down in January, Schnebly said, Fresh King relies on Dominican Republic fruit in January through March.