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ORLANDO, FL — Les Jardins Paul Cousineau & Fils Inc. is known for its Quebec broccoli and cauliflower programs, but some in the industry might not know that the family-owned-and-operated firm has these items available year round.

While the St-Constant, QC-based grower-packer-shipper has not figured out how to grow the items during the harsh Canadian winters, it has created a California division named Bro-Quali Harvest Inc. that began operating two years ago, which has allowed it to become a 12-month-a-year supplier.

The division is headed by Brent Peterson, who has 27 years of experience in all facets of the industry and who serves as Jardins Paul Cousineau's "eyes and ears on the ground," Pierre Dolbec, the firm’s new director of business development and marketing, told The Produce News in an Oct. 17 interview, here, at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition.

“This gives us a major advantage, as it allows for consistent quality and an almost-seamless transition” from our Quebec program to California, Mr. Dolbec said, noting that the California office is a “value-added” offering for its clients in Canada and the United States.

Jardins Paul Cousineau works with several growers, and inspects the fields or the items themselves to ensure that the final products meet or exceed the firm’s specifications, he said.

This allows Jardins Paul Cousineau to offer iceless shrink-wrapped broccoli, iced and iceless broccoli, Asian and retail cut broccoli crowns, and cello cauliflower during the winter months.

Mr. Peterson also oversees the broccoli shrink-wrapping operation at a packing facility near Santa Maria, CA.

“This makes the procurement process much more reliable,” Mr. Dolbec said of Mr. Peterson’s efforts, adding that other California vegetables can also be obtained by Mr. Peterson for Jardins Paul Cousineau’s clients, which are primarily located in Quebec, Ontario and the U.S. East Coast. “It takes the surprises out of buying.”