Fresh fruit and vegetable importer, CarbAmerica, is starting a new Florida broccoli program, with harvesting continuing through April.

The company recently partnered with an experienced family of growers in northern Florida who have been in the business for over 30 years. Together they planted more than 350 acres to supplement the Mexican and Maine broccoli seasons, resulting in a year-round program.

"Just like with every other grower partnership we have, we expect quality to meet our high standards.

The fields look fantastic, so we're encouraged by what we've seen in the fields thus far," said Jeff Friedman, president of CarbAmericas, in a news release. "We are particularly excited about this new program as it fulfills a need in the broccoli category out of Florida; something our customers have been looking for."

Danny Pollak, vice president of sales, said the Florida program not only complements the company's Mexican and Maine operations, but the grower's northern Florida location makes overnight deliveries easy throughout the southeast and up the Atlantic seaboard.

"With this new program, our broccoli can be at our customers' warehouses within 24 to 48 hours of harvesting," Pollak said. "This results in better turns in our customers' warehouses and improved freshness on the shelf, plus the ability to highlight and support local Florida-grown programs to consumers."

Pollak said that CarbAmericas will ship Asian cut broccoli (short stemmed) in wax boxes, iced in a new, onsite clamshell ice machine.