It’s a busy summer for our friends at Gills Onions in Oxnard, CA, as reps from the company will be on hand for the National Onion Association’s Summer Convention tour of the Bakersfield facility on July 20. A team will also be attending the PMA Foodservice Show July 28-19 in Monterey, CA.
According to Gills Marketing Manager Megan Jacobson, a highlight of this year’s NOA Convention, scheduled for July 18-21 at the Bakersfield Marriott, will be a fascinating look at the new line components.
“This harvest season our Bakersfield processing facility welcomed a new addition to our sorting line, which will provide us super accurate onion sizing within a half inch,” Megan said. “This unique system was built by Allround Vegetable Processing.”
She continued, “Upgrading our roller sizer within the sorting line will help make the growing side of our operation more efficient, especially with increasing labor costs. Overall efficiency will allow Gills Onions to continue to maintain a consistent, high-quality product.”
And, she explained, “Every operation has different needs and methods. As a fresh-cut onion processor, this is the best solution for what we are doing.”
Giving a shout-out to Allround Vegetable Processing and Rietveld Equipment, http://www.allroundvp.com, Megan said, “Not only did they deliver an innovative, high-quality system, but John Rietveld and his team were also great to work with!”
Asked about future expansion, Megan said Gills has no plans for expansion now. “Our current processing plant and sorting facilities have the capacity to serve our needs for the next three or more years,” she said. “However, in regards to upgrades, our processing plant will be installing new peelers later this year that will take our efficiency to the next level. We look forward to sharing that story, along with great videos and photos, with you once they are installed later this year.”
When the team travels to the PMA Foodservice event, which it has done for more than two decades, emphasis will be on “reconnecting with current customers and networking with prospects,” Megan said. “PMA does a nice job with this event and we look forward to another great Foodservice Show.”
The team will include Steve and David Gill, Teri Trost, Ericca Trost, Craig Weskamp, Oscar Guzman and Megan.
Megan told OnionBusiness the Monterey show has it all – atmosphere, location, customers, and atmosphere. And she said the opportunity to engage with customers and peers is important.
“The cost of doing business is rising at an extremely fast pace, and that will not be changing,” she said. “However, due to many factors but the regulatory changes being at the top, the cost of transportation is affecting all businesses, especially fresh produce. This year at PMA Foodservice we are having the conversation with folks on logistically how we are transporting more than 30 percent onion waste throughout the country. There are 400-plus loads of sack onions shipped and consumed each day in the United States. One in every three will be discarded – 30 percent average waste in a sack of onions and more than 50 percent when you chop, sliver and dice.”
She continued, “There are 850 sacks of onions on a truck, totaling 42,500 lbs. With Gills Onions whole peeled 30-lb. cases, you can load 1,400 cases on a truck. That is 42,000 lbs. – no waste, just 100 percent usable product.” And, Megan said, “Transportation should absolutely be a consideration when having the conversation about buying onions. And, of course, this conversation is in addition to labor costs going up, minimizing food safety risks in the backend of a restaurant, growing the most sustainable product, etc.”
The upshot, she said, is that “… we believe Gills Onions is the best at what we do. We provide solutions to the hurdles our foodservice customers face. We are excited to attend this year’s PMA Foodservice show and continue this conversation. Industry networking face-to-face is key. It’s not just selling a product. Relationships are vital to our success.”
View the recent Gills Onions video feature: https://onionbusiness.com/video-highlight-sneak-peek-at-gills-onions-in-bakersfield-ca/