Eagle Eye Spotlights NW Potatoes, Onions

Published online: Nov 03, 2021 Articles Kathleen Thomas Gaspar
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Source: The Produce News

With its Idaho/eastern Oregon onions and potatoes in the cellar and harvest in other Northwest spud regions going smoothly in mid-October, Eagle Eye Produce harvest director of sales Coleman Oswald was looking forward to a good shipping and sales season.

“Harvest has now wrapped up for our onion and potato program in Idaho/Eastern Oregon, and Washington and Nevada potato harvest is going well,” he said. “We’re very grateful that this harvest season has gone well after the less-than-ideal growing season. We’re happy with the quality we are seeing thus far and look forward to what is shaping up to be an exciting season with active markets.”

He added, “Our growers and growing partners did an excellent job counteracting the heatwave we saw throughout the Pacific Northwest.” 

 Addressing commodities grown in the Southwest, executive vice president Lance Poole added, “We are wrapping up this season’s domestic watermelon supply and will be shifting to our Mexican supply out of Nogales within the coming weeks. Our dry veg operation out of Nogales, Arizona, is ramping up and will be in the full swing of things this winter, with a wide array of products, including squash, round and grape tomatoes, Bell, and hot peppers and round beans.”  

 The men spoke about Eagle Eye’s expansion in 2021, with the addition of grower partners as well as new pack options.

“We are extremely happy about our new partnership with Central Produce announced earlier this year,” said Poole. “Our onion program has grown exponentially, and we have invested in our packing facilities including a full retail packing line, adding everything from two-pound, five-pound and 10-pound retail bags all the way up to bulk bins. With the partnership with Central Produce, we have also added proven onion growers in Western Idaho and Eastern Oregon. Our Idaho/Eastern Oregon onion program has more than doubled with these partnerships, and we are very happy to be working with these experienced, multi-generational growers.”

Poole went on to say, “Our veg program out of Nogales has expanded as well with new growers, commodities and pack styles. We’re happy to be kicking off what is set to be our biggest season yet throughout our commodity programs.”

Oswald noted that new grower partners have been added in other regions and for other crops as well.

“We are excited to be adding growers throughout our commodity programs this year,” he said. “We have brought on additional acreage and growers with decades of growing experience to our Idaho potato program, and we continue to diversify our Idaho supply by expanding our footprint across the state and extending our harvest season. We can now start our new crop season earlier and get into storage crop quicker, ensuring more consistent quality throughout the year and a true year-round Idaho potato supply.”  

Looking at the marketing opportunities for the remainder of 2021 and going into 2022, communications director Dallin Klingler said, “We are always developing new guides, recipes and content to promote our programs and products on social media and at our customers locations. We have partnered with several social media influencers this year to develop recipes using our products and have seen a lot of success with the program. We have also developed new retail displays for our value-added products and other commodities which have seen a lot of success lifting sales with eye catching displays and second locations within stores.”  

While cancellation of Fresh Summit 2021 was a disappointment, Klingler said Eagle Eye fully understands the decision.

“We support PMA with their decision and believe it was the right one,” he said, adding, “Our hearts go out to those affected by Hurricane Ida.”

Calling the convention and expo a one-of-a-kind event, Klingler said, “We have always enjoyed exhibiting at Fresh Summit. Getting the entire industry under one roof is impressive, and there really is no other show like it. Over the past 17 years exhibiting at PMA, we have always looked forward to meeting with customers, sharing our innovations and seeing the latest trends within the industry. And we are looking forward to getting together with the industry again at Fresh Summit 2022.”