Bland Farms adds storage unit
Glennville, Ga.-based Bland Farms has bought another storage unit in Vidalia, Ga.
Owner Delbert Bland said the move increases the company’s storage capacity to 1 million boxes.
“Demand is growing for us, and we’re already packing to full capacity each day,” Bland said.
“We’ve been limited in the last couple of years as to what we can produce versus what we can sell.”
The new unit is in addition to the company’s recent upgrades in drying and packing equipment.
Carzalia Valley makes improvements
To satisfy food safety requirements, Columbus, N.M.-based Carzalia Valley Produce Inc. has fully enclosed its 90,000-square-foot packing shed and added climate control.
“We’re now able to lock the building and control access,” vice president James Johnson said.
With a milder spring, better stand establishment and more efficient drip irrigation, Johnson estimates Carzalia could produce close to a million bags this year, up considerably from last year.
Gills Onions renovates facilities
Gills Onions, Oxnard, Calif., has completed a renovation and modernization of its facilities, director of sales and marketing Nelia Alamo said.
“We now have the latest equipment and sanitary design and the most advanced sanitation systems,” Alamo said.
“We’re extremely pleased with the outcome, and our operations are more streamlined and efficient than ever.”
Committee creates gluten-free recipe
For foodservice operators keen to offer menu items for gluten-free diets, the Parma, Idaho-based Idaho and Eastern Oregon Onion Committee has developed a gluten-free onion ring recipe.
“It’s a really tasty, coconut-encrusted ring that’s very viable for fresh-cut onion rings,” marketing director Sherise Jones said.
The recipe was developed with help from the University of Connecticut.
“People are choosing other diets, and we’re working to incorporate our onions to meet those needs,” Jones said.
National Onion Inc. opens warehouse
Pleasant Grove, Utah-based National Onion Inc. has begun using its new 30,000-square-foot warehouse in Santa Teresa, N.M., on the Mexican border.
Owner Steve Smith said the facility receives packaged onions from Mexico and transfers them to U.S. trucks as they’re sold.
Out in the field, National Onion has replaced traditional burlap bags with plastic bins.
Smith said onions are placed in the bins as they’re clipped and taken to the curing facility where air is forced through the bins.
Pajaro Valley grower cuts carbon footprint
Huron, Calif.-based Terra Linda Farms, the main grower for Pajaro Valley Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Distributing, Watsonville, Calif., has been quietly going green to save money and reduce its carbon footprint, Pajaro partner Bill Hagins said.
Solar panels on Terra Linda’s packing shed now meet almost two-thirds of power consumption needs during the harvest season, Hagins said.
The farm also boasts one of the largest composting operations in the central California Valley, which it says helps build up the soil and save water.
Onions represent 90% of Pajaro’s business, he said.
The distributor sells whites, yellows and reds in 2-pound bags to 2,000-pound totes under the Terra Linda, Western Rooster, Cebollero and Bayview labels.
Peri & Sons Farms uses thermal printer
By adding new thermal printers to its bagging machine, Yerington, Nev.-based Peri & Sons Farms can now label packages for traceability, said Teri Gibson, director of marketing and customer relations.
The grower-shipper also has added a high-speed Inno-Tech bagger to its consumer line, Gibson said.
“A major factor in our decision to purchase this new bagger was that it creates less waste than the bagger it replaces,” Gibson said.
The packaging material is also 100% recyclable, she said.
Peri & Sons has grown, packed and shipped white, yellow, red, sweet and organic onions for more than 30 years.
Since expanding into Firebaugh, Calif., several years ago, the company has been able to offer customers a year-round supply of domestic onions.
River Point Farms goes high-tech
As a year-round grower-shipper and supplier of about 500 million pounds of onions annually for foodservice accounts across North America, high-tech storage is a necessity at Hermiston, Ore.-based River Point Farms.
President Bob Hale said the company is working on different methods to store onions longer while maintaining shelf life.
Hale said River Point’s climate-controlled warehouses are capable of storing about 300 million pounds of onions from November through June.
Shiloh Produce adds packing line
Hatch, N.M.-based Shiloh Produce Inc. has installed a new packing line at its facility at Chile River Farms, owned by Shane Franzoy.
“We’re pre-sizing onions coming out of the field so we can run direct size for order,” said Jay Hill, head of farmer and produce sales at Hill Farms and Shiloh Produce.
The new line should speed shipping time and allow drivers to drive in, load and leave rather than wait in their trucks for three to four hours, Hill said.
In food safety, Shiloh has revamped its inbound and outbound tracking systems and hired full-time inspectors in the field and inside its facilities, he said.
Young Guns Produce expands facilities
Hatch, N.M.-based Young Guns Produce Inc., one of New Mexico’s larger grower-shippers, has completed a new, larger facility that dries onions more efficiently and allows the company to store more volume, president Chris Franzoy said.
Young Guns has also added 30,000 square feet to its warehouse in the third and final phase of a three-year project, Franzoy said.
With the addition of a second packing line that can automatically weigh, fill and palletize bags or cartons of onions, he said the company can now produce about 2,000 50-pound units per hour.