Desert Spring Produce adds salesman, space

Hatch, N.M.-based grower-shipper Desert Spring Produce recently added Bill Coombs to its staff.

Coombs will handle sales for Desert Spring. He was hired in April and began in early May.

Desert Spring also finished a large expansion of its onion and green chili packing facility in early May, which increased the company’s onion cooling potential.

“We doubled our capacity to cool onions,” said Dale Gillis, owner and partner.

The company also added an additional stickering machine, which was installed the first week of May, in order to increase volume by 25%, Coombs said.

Lack Farms seeks GlobalG.A.P. approval

Lack Farms, Rincon, N.M., is adding GlobalG.A.P. food safety certification this season.

“In the past, Lack Farms, utilizing PrimusLabs, did an annual GMP Packinghouse audit to satisfy our customers. This year, we are adding the FSMS, GMP and GAP certifications to our annual audit,” said owner Rosie Lack.

The audit is scheduled for June 10.

Lack said the necessary practices were already in place, but that the certification will be new this year.

“The new process will require more paperwork,” she said.

Last season, Lack Farms added an onion drying facility that allows the company to keep onions upward of five days in case of a harvest delayed by bad weather.

“It also has improved the external appearance and quality of the onion we ship,” said Corey Griswold, president of ProSource Inc., the sales office for Lack Farms.

The company also fully enclosed the shed to meet the food safety requirements of its customer base.

National Onion Inc. grows with warehouse

Las Cruces, N.M.-based National Onion Inc. is entering the second year of use at its Santa Teresa, N.M., warehouse facility completed last year, said Steven Smith, president and owner.

The 30,000 square-foot facility is a transfer shed on the west side of El Paso for Mexican onions entering the country.

“We unload the onions from a Mexican truck and reload them on a truck here,” Smith said.

The warehouse is not refrigerated, and Smith said it worked well for them last year.

“We have a lot of fans, so the air flow is good. It keeps the onions quite well,” he said.