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Peri & Sons takes fresh approach to spring onion harvest

by Kathleen Thomas Gaspar | June 07, 2010
Peri & Sons Farms, based in Yerington, NV, has added a fun twist to this year's spring onion harvest with the OnionXpress incentive program and contest for its customers.

Among the incentives is an all-expense-paid trip to tour Peri & Sons Farms in Nevada during the fall harvest.

According to Teri Gibson, Peri's marketing and customer relations manager, the promotion was designed as a "great way to remind our customers that there is nothing better than fresh, spring onions that have been hand-harvested, hand- sorted and then packed and shipped directly from the farm. Newly harvested onions taste great and stay fresh longer, maximizing profitability."

Ms. Gibson said that the incentive program kicked off with special promo kits sent to buyers.

"We sent our customers fun T-shirts bearing our OnionXpress promotion logo packaged with an announcement about the event, and they have been well received," she said.

Peri & Sons will follow up periodically with e-mails through August, and based on their orders, customers who participate in the OnionXpress promotion will earn a share of $8,500 worth of incentives, including a fall harvest tour of the Yerington farm.

With family-owned facilities in both Nevada and California, Peri & Sons Farms is able to ship premium white, yellow, red, sweet and organic onions direct from the farm year round.

The vertically integrated grower-packer-shipper can deliver fresh produce nationwide, and Ms. Gibson said that the new promotion highlights that capability.

Alex Berry, general manager of packingshed operations, said, "Activity at our Firebaugh [CA] packing facility has been ramping up since January in anticipation of a strong spring-summer harvest season. We are well staffed, and the crops are looking good, so we expect to be running at full speed soon."

"This will be the third season of operation for Peri & Sons Farms' Firebaugh facility, which utilizes some of the most technologically advanced equipment and processes and also operates under the strictest food-safety guidelines in the industry," Ms. Gibson added.

Jeff Pope, operations manager, said that he is optimistic about the 2010 season, noting, "As expected, our first season in 2008 was a good learning experience, but we came back strong in year two, fine-tuning all operational systems and adjusting staff. This year, we've increased our acreage, and we have a great team in place. We were able to hit the ground running, and we'll keep that momentum through the summer."

Retail Sales Manager Jessica Peri described the sales team as "fired-up and ready for what is expected to be a busy season."

Ms. Peri, who has been monitoring onion production nationally and around the world, noted, "Onion production in many parts of the world was down during the last half of 2009, so demand is running high right off the bat this year."

Ms. Peri added, "Although some onion-producing areas such as Texas and Mexico were affected by wet weather early this year, we've been very fortunate that the weather conditions in Firebaugh where our farms are located have been stable, and the crops are doing well."

In addition to being "the freshest onions available," all Peri & Sons Farms onions are 100 percent pesticide-free and fully traceable.

Ms. Peri said that she is glad to see so many reports indicating that consumers want to know how and where their produce is being grown.

"For years now, we have been fully committed to providing fresh, clean, safe and traceable produce, and our new OnionXpress spring-summer harvest promotion will be a great opportunity to showcase these strengths," Ms. Peri said. "We also hope this promotion will spark buyers to take a fresh look at Peri & Sons Farms this season."