20/20 Produce Sales Inc. and New Mexico-based Billy The Kid Produce announced a strategic partnership designed to move top-quality onions into the national marketplace. “Their farming practices are impeccable, and year after year they continue to turn out the best onions from the New Mexico growing region,” said Tom Wason, 20/20 Produce’s managing partner.
The Franzoy family has been growing onions in New Mexico for over 75 years. “Billy Franzoy is the patriarch of the Franzoy family,” Wason said. “He and his two sons, Mark and Brian, grow a large portion of the production for their 110,000-square-foot onion packing facility located in Deming, NM. Justin Franzoy is the general manager, and he oversees the packing facility that operates as Billy The Kid Produce. Chris Franzoy is the sales manager for the family business.”
“20/20 Produce specializes in year-round supplies of the highest quality fruits and vegetables from a wide variety of shipping geographies,” President Mark Williams told The Produce News. The company was founded in 1993 and moves onions, potatoes, apples and other seasonal fruits and vegetables from its shipping locations in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and California. The company is located in Heyburn, ID.
Wason was asked how growing practices at Billy The Kid create a superior product. “Not all onions from New Mexico are the same,” he replied. “This is important to keep in mind when it comes time to source onions out of New Mexico. The Franzoy family exclusively grows onions under drip irrigation from water that comes from deep well pumps. The deep well water is key to growing good quality onions in the region. Good, deep-water drip irrigation, a 110,000-square-foot facility with state-of-the-art equipment, and over 75 years of growing onions makes Billy The Kid and 20/20 Produce the best choice for New Mexico onions. We are dedicated to providing the best onions, and our service and track record speaks for itself.”
Wason said weather this spring has been cold. “This, combined with a severe drought and less quality water availability, could lead to yields being off by as much as 20 percent.” Despite the situation, he said onion quality is expected to be good.
With an estimate of 5,800 acres planted to onions in New Mexico this season, Wason said Franzoy and his sons own 800 acres. “This is about 13 percent of the total production,” he stated. “The massive packing facility will crank out over 50 million pounds of finished product during the three-month season.”
Major improvements and additions were made to the Franzoy packing facility during the off-season. Wason said 30,000 square foot of additional drying capacity was added on to the existing 80,000 square feet of space. “This addition allows for seven days of production to be kept undercover and ready to package, despite weather conditions,” he stated. “We will be pre-sorting all the onions this season before they go through the packingline. This will make us more efficient. We have also added automatic baggers [and] weighers which then feed down to two automatic palletizers that are the only two of their kind in the industry.”
The onion harvest began June 3, and shipments will continue through August. 20/20 Produce will market New Mexico onions to the Midwest, Southeast, Eastern Seaboard and Northeast.
Onions are sold to all market sectors. “The primary labels we use are “20/20,” “Billy The Kid,” “Young Guns” and “Four Sons,” Wason said. “We also pack in several private labels.”