Larry Cox (center), owner of Coastline Family Farms, with his two sons, who are also involved in the business. ( Courtesy Coastline Family Farms )

Salinas, Calif.-based vegetable grower-shipper Coastline Family Farms has formed a new dry onion growing/packing joint venture with Echo, Ore.-based Madison Ranches. The new entity is Madison-Cox Onions LLC.

“With the dynamics of the produce marketplace, we wanted to consolidate our onion sales under the Coastline Family Farms structure and develop an all year-round onion program on the West Coast,” Larry Cox, president and CEO of Coastline, which also has operations in Brawley, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., said in a news release. “We have known the Madison family for some time, (and) they have a reputation for producing high-quality premium onions in the Hermiston region of Oregon and knew they would be the right partner to help expand our production footprint.”

Planning for the joint venture began last fall, said Jake Madison, CEO of Madison Ranches.

“Our two family farming companies are very similar which helps build a strong foundation of trust, shared values and a focus on a customer-centric business model,” Madison said in the release.

Madison-Cox Onions will produce red and yellow bulb onions in Hermiston, with the first harvest set for September 2019 and shipping through March 2020. Madison Ranches will be responsible for production, storage, packing and shipping. 

In late April, construction began on a new packing and storage facility, which will feature a new optical grading, sorting and packing line.

Coastline Family Farms will handle sales and marketing, said Tonya Giotta, vice president of foodservice sales. She will work with Carly Kwak-Bauch, vice president of product and channel development. Both previously worked together at River Point Farms and were tapped by Coastline to develop a new dry onion business unit.