In 1995, we started packing Easterday Farms onions at our Pasco, Washington, facility. It’s the largest of our onion packing facilities and where most of the yellow Spanish type onions are packed. In 2005, we opened a facility in Othello, Washington, where we sort and pack our red and white onions. These packing facilities are strategically located nearest to the farms where the product is grown. Our third facility opened in 2016 in northern Florida to better serve the needs of our southeast customers.
Electronic Sorting and Sizing
The onions are optically graded and weight sized using a Compac electronic sizer. Onions are individually carried under cameras where images of each onion are taken. This information is used to grade for defects such as balding, greening and misshape. This vision sorting system can also size onions by volume or diameter to ensure consistent packing.
The majority of our onions are packed into 25 or 50 pound Leno mesh bags. The bag top is sewn closed providing safe and secure packaging. We still include the traditional drawstring easy closure after opening. We introduced the “sewn” bag to our customers over 15 years ago, when the rest of the industry was still hand-tying each bag. It is yet another tool we use to minimize labor costs and give our customers a consistent product.
Strict in-house quality control standards result in reliable and consistent onion packs for our customers. With the use of QC wireless tablets, it allows for ‘real-time’ communication between our quality control supervisors and the sales staff. This ensures that the customer receives the requested product specification needed. USDA inspections are available for online packing or load inspections. We also welcome on-site inspection by customers.
We are able to offer quality onions in many of the styles of packaging suitable for retail sales. These packs include 2 pound, 3 pound, and 5 pound clip net packs sold in mesh baler bags or loose in cardboard bins. We also offer high graphic vertical and Kwik Lok type packs that include recipes, tips for handling, and contact links to informative websites.
Our pallets are automatically palletized using specialized equipment from Holland. These machines produce a pallet superior to any stacked by hand and reduces tedious labor. This machine stacks the bags in a four sided box to the designated pallet height. Once completed, the pallet moves on a track to an automatic wrapper, where it is tightly bound with a breathable mesh material. This process results in a hardy pallet of onions that can withstand the transit to its ultimate destination.
Learn the process of how Easterday onions are grown, harvested, packed, and distributed through aerial drone footage and video. This clip takes you through the early stages of seeding, cultivation and harvest, concluding with a peek into Easterday Farms' state-of-the-art packaging system.