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RIVERHEAD, NY — Eric Scannelli is eagerly anticipating Fresh from the Start's Maine broccoli program, which was expected to kick off July 6 — about 10 days earlier than in previous years, thanks to the "phenomenal weather" that the Northeast has experienced.

Mr. Scannelli, the firm’s sales manager, told The Produce News June 25 that Fresh from the Start, a division of ADS Management LLC, based here, handles transportation in-house for its clients, which are primarily retailers and foodservice providers, and offers next-day delivery for most major cities in the Northeast.

It will ship to most locations east of the Mississippi River and utilizes distribution facilities in Rotterdam, NY, Youngwood, PA, Salisbury, NC, Doraville, GA, and Pompano Beach, FL.

“Based on the summer’s freight rates, there is a substantial savings [shipping product] out of the Northeast than from the West Coast,” he said.

Mr. Scannelli announced that the firm had upheld the “Superior” rating from AIB International that it has had for several years for its Caribou, ME, operation, and expected good quality for this year’s broccoli and cauliflower deals.

Fresh from the Start also has a sizable nine-count jacket cauliflower deal, which along with its broccoli is marketed under the “Fresh from the Start” label.

Fresh from the Start takes pride in its quality control and employs its own inspector to personally inspect every load.

“Every load also has a federal inspection before it ships, and we have a traceability program in place from field to distribution centers,” he said. “That’s what food safety is about — managing and minimizing risks — and we all work really hard at that.”

Mr. Scannelli once again expects the firm to ship over 1 million boxes of broccoli. It offers Asian cut and domestic crowns; 14- and 18-count; and iceless during the Maine deal, which runs through October. It then transitions to California from mid-November until the next Maine season starts.

Fresh from the Start also offers cantaloupes, citrus, grapes, onions, potatoes, peppers and strawberries on a year-round basis.