Peri & Sons cites good growth in organics
Known for its organic onion production in the Southern California growing area of El Centro, Peri & Sons Farms continues its game in Nevada and is returning to organics in Firebaugh, CA, this season.
Jessica Peri, retail sales manager for the Yerington, NV-based company, said organic production began in the Silver State in 2016 with a five-acre field, and now “we grow more organics in Nevada and are poised to do good deals with our customers, especially in the fall and winter.”
Firebaugh has organics this year as well, and a summertime retail/wholesale promotion has been launched to get the word out, Peri added. The new Go Organic/Onion Express campaign will run through August and provides retail and wholesale customers with T-shirts for participating.
Another organic layer is the upcoming season for organic Sweetie Sweets, which will start up in July and ship into December, she continued.
For the new year, Peri said storage onions out of Nevada cleaned up the third week of March, and the 2018 El Centro harvest started April 14, with onions from that region running into July. Warm weather there has made for big sizing, and Peri noted, “There are very few mediums.”
Firebaugh in the Central Valley is on schedule to start its shipping season in early June, and between the two California operations Peri & Sons covers the April-October window. A new finished product room in Firebaugh was added this year, and that facility will provide organic sweets, reds and yellows into August.
Sweetie Sweet, which was introduced to the market 13 years ago, is produced from seed grown by Peri & Sons. “We are constantly selecting bulbs and involved in plant breeding,” Peri said, noting that the trademarked sweet has grown in volume “almost 700 percent since we first started.”
Acreage has more than doubled in the last six years, she said, to keep up with demand from the loyal following.
In addition to its extensive organic program, the year-round grower-shipper also offers conventional onions in all colors and sizes, and this year it added to its reefer fleet at Walker River Trucking in Yerington. “We have seven of our own reefer tractor trailers on the road,” Peri said.
Specialty packs are another facet of Peri & Sons, which gears its marketing message toward eating fresh and being healthy. One pack is the single bagged organic that has been met with good reception from all consumers, including millennials who “won’t buy big packages,” Peri said.
Another specialty product is the new tearless Sunion, which is harvested in late August and early September and kept in storage until late November or early December.
Peri said the company launched its Sunions this year to good response.
“We ship into April,” she said. “It’s a very unique item, and we have a lot of new customers from it.” Peri said it will go forward with limited production.
This summer will also see the return of the popular BBQ Bloomer Onion for super colossals starting up in mid-May, and a new label, Healthy Value, has been added for pre-packs and commercial grade.
“The label is really growing, and it could apply to organics this year as well,” Peri said.