Washington/Oregon Onions business updates - The Packer

Washington/Oregon Onions business updates

07/23/2014 01:39:00 PM
Jim Offner

FC Bloxom hires produce trader

Longtime Walla Walla onion salesman Bryon Magnaghi now is produce trader for Seattle-based wholesaler FC Bloxom, which entered the Walla Walla onion deal in 2013.

Magnaghi was general manager of Walla Walla Gardeners’ Association, which went bankrupt and closed in November 2012.

Magnaghi joined FC Bloxom in 2013 and remains based in Walla Walla, Wash.

“I can handle any product, but since my background is mostly onions and some potatoes, I think it’s an experience factor,” said Magnaghi, who grew up on an onion farm and has been handling sales for 35 years.

“A lot of times, I know what the customer is looking for and I know where to go to find the right kind of product that they’re looking for,” he said.

 

River Point Farms adds onion facility

Hermiston, Ore.-based River Point Farms is in growth mode, said Carly Kwak, sales director.

“We are conducting major facility and equipment updates throughout our company,” she said.

This year the company is constructing a new onion packing facility. The project should be completed by the spring of 2015, Kwak said.

 

Sunset Produce considers expansion

Prosser, Wash.-based onion grower-shipper Sunset Produce LLC is contemplating a growth strategy, said Brenden Kent, vice president.

“We are eyeing the possibility of a pretty nice expansion this winter or next spring, but we haven’t pulled the trigger or fully decided on that,” he said.

The vision for such a project would involve upgrades in automated system, with an eye on increased production volume, Kent said.

“We’d add another warehouse, perhaps add another few key employees, so there’s some good things to come at Sunset, without a doubt. We’re just trying to decide how we want to do the expansion,” he said.

It likely would increase production by about 15% and “also give us a lot more automation that we really need to kind of meet the demands of the industry,” he said.

 

Utah Onions Inc. builds storage shed

Syracuse, Utah-based Utah Onions Inc., which grows and ships onions in Oregon, Washington and Utah, recently completed a new storage shed in Prosser, Wash., said Shawn Hartley, owner and vice president of sales.

“We also did a few minor adjustments on a new packing shed we built in 2013,” he said.

The new storage shed is 45,000 square feet, Hartley said.



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