With deep farming roots that date back four generations, Peri & Sons Farms grows, packs, and ships premium white, yellow, red, sweet, and organic onions year-round directly from its family farms in Nevada and California.
David Peri currently leads the company and started Peri & Sons Farms in 1979, but his great-grandfather first grew onions in Nevada in 1913 after coming to America from Italy a decade earlier.
David Peri, Owner, Peri & Sons Farms
In 2006, the company made the leap into organics, starting with three acres of organic onions.
“It’s grown substantially since then,” said Mindy VanVleck, who handles sales for Peri & Sons Farms. “It’s a huge part of our program. It’s grown to the point where we have a full line of organic onions almost year-round.”
With three growing locations in Yerington, Nevada; El Centro, California; and Firebaugh, California, the company is able to meet the demands of customers with a strong supply of organic onions.
Mindy VanVleck, Sales, Peri & Sons Farms
“It’s difficult to do for one growing entity to have a year-round supply of onions, and it’s even more difficult to do it organically,” VanVleck said. “The challenges are the availability of organic land as you move from location to location.”
Peri & Sons Farms is always looking for good-quality organic land as it hopes to continue expanding its organic offerings in the years ahead.
Peri & Sons Farms California-grown onions
“A majority of our retail customers carry both conventional and organic onions from us,” VanVleck said. “In 2020, we definitely saw a huge spike in organic demand. It has leveled off some, but I think it’s still a stronger demand than pre-pandemic.”
“It’s difficult to do for one growing entity to have a year-round supply of onions, and it’s even more difficult to do it organically.” -Mindy VanVleck
The key to success in the category, she noted, is having a high-quality product that will have a long shelf life, offer low shrink for the retailer, and look good on the shelf, so the consumer wants to come back. “Quality is paramount to a successful onion program,” VanVleck said.
Peri & Sons Farms gourmet organic onions
Prior to growing organic onions, in 1988, Peri & Sons Farms became certified pesticide residue free, the most stringent pesticide residue standard in the marketplace today.
“Quality is paramount to a successful onion program.” -Mindy VanVleck
“Even back then, before sustainability and food safety became top of mind in the produce industry, it was important to the Peri & Sons family to grow sustainably safe and healthy food,” VanVleck said. “It was just natural for us to move into organic growing.”
David Peri, Owner, Peri & Sons Farms
“In addition to being organic, Peri & Sons became sustainably certified in 2016, and that encompasses energy conservation, soil conservation, and water conservation,” VanVleck said. “It’s just part of the company philosophy to take care of the earth and grow the utmost high-quality and safe, nutritious product for consumers.”
Peri & Sons is continuing to look for opportunities to expand its organic onion program. VanVleck feels that as people become more aware of what they put in their bodies, there is plenty of opportunity for the organic segment to continue to grow.
Peri & Sons Farms organic onion pack
“The challenge is that it still costs more, but we just really want consumers to buy fresh produce, and if a portion of that can be organic, that’s fabulous,” she said. “We also see an opportunity for every grocery store to offer conventional and organic options. We’ve seen the number of retailers offering organics continue to grow every year.”
“In addition to being organic, Peri & Sons became sustainably certified in 2016, and that encompasses energy conservation, soil conservation, and water conservation.” -Mindy VanVleck
For Peri & Sons, organic growing and sustainability will forever be in its philosophy and strategy. For instance, the company will soon be offering fully recyclable, compostable, non-plastic options for packaging.
“Whether we grow conventional or grow organic, we want to grow a healthy product and one that’s good for the environment and the end consumer,” VanVleck said. “Organic has been a big part of that. We want to grow sustainably for the future.”