Erickson settles in at J&D
New since last onion season is the director of business management Bret Erickson, who joined J&D Produce, Edinburg, Texas, last August.
Erickson came from ScanTech Sciences in McAllen, Texas, but is known for his role as president of the Texas International Produce Association from 2012-17.
Jimmy Bassetti, president of J&D Produce, is chairman of the association.
Bassetti said the company also has increased its onion drying capacity by 26% for this season.
Onion House adds to staff
The Onion House, Weslaco, Texas, added onion veteran Dee Eddy to its staff in early February. Owner Don Ed Holmes said Eddy has been in onions a long time.
“He knows the business from top to bottom,” Holmes said.
The company added salesman Charles Steingrabe last fall.
Southwest Onion partner grows packing capacity
Charles Wetegrove Co., Raymondville, Texas, partner company of Southwest Onion Growers LLC, McAllen, Texas, increased its packing capacity for consumer onion packs by about 50% from last year, said David DeBerry, president of Southwest Onion Growers. He said Charles Wetegrove Co. is a fourth-generation onion grower in South Texas.
DeBerry said Southwest Onion Growers also added capacity to its value-added packing operations.
TIPA’s Dante Galeazzi reflects on first year
Though he’s not new to the Texas onion industry, this is the first onion season that starts with Dante Galeazzi leading the Mission-based Texas International Produce Association.
He started as president of TIPA May 1 after being on the sales desk of Crescent Fruit & Vegetable, an offshoot of Edinburg, Texas-based Frontera Produce. He also is manager of the South Texas Onion Committee, which sets standards for growers and packers.
He said the list of issues and projects is practically endless: finding information and accessibility for chemicals; immigration/labor; farm bill; research funds; transportation; food safety; harvest mechanization; and new technologies, just to name a few.