Improve onion packing efficiency and reduce onion packing waste today! 

Onion packing brochures:  [Onion packing]     [Farm management]      [RFID]

Onion packing & processing app.

Software app for onion packing, grading, sorting, and processing.  Includes export, wholesale, and full packing management app.  Built around traceability & recalls:  bar-code inventory, B2B Customer Portal, Shop front,  FARM MANAGEMENT OPTION and more...

Inventory

Manage incoming onion inventory, capture onion supplier details and cost, apply inventory/pallet labels, record storage location of inventory.  Automatic inventory audit trail and tracking.  Unlimited inventory items. Bar-code inventory management.

Stock-take

Perform stock-takes any time by category or storage location.  Know how much onion inventory you have in real time, even search by storage location.  Report by product line and storage location, or product category. 

Sales, shipping,  orders

Print pick sheet to pick onion orders manually, or scan inventory / pallets onto orders, or auto select inventory,  or rapidly sell without an order.  Track paid, and unpaid invoices.  Attach documents to invoices / photos of outgoing shipments.

Traceability & recalls

Instant mock recalls both up and down the supply chain using instant mock recalls based on supplier lot/batch, supplier name, delivery date, invoice #, inventory #, pallet #, customer reference, order # and more..

Invoices, BOL, labels for pallets & inventory

Choose from a gallery of invoices, bill of lading, freight notes, and industry standard fresh produce labels including Walmart, Tesco, Aldi, Coles, Pick 'n Save, Woolworths and more...

Batch packing

Record all batch inputs such fruit, vegetables, packaging materials, and other raw materials.  Batch costs automatically tracked.  Batch recalls automatically track suppliers & traceability.

Logistics

View open orders & balances. Assign orders to specific staff for picking, assign to trucks / driver, transport company.  Set loading order for multiple orders on one truck.  See when orders are ready shipped and print bill of lading, export documents, and invoices. 

Quality control

Perform QC tests for incoming onion inventory, packed, pre-shipping. Configure QC tests for ANYTHING you want to test, supplier quality control tracking.  Attach unlimited photos & documents to QC tests from your cell or tablet.  

Price lists

Manage prices that will be used when a customer order is recorded.  Set up price lists for specials, specific products & customers or promotions.  

Dashboards

Profit:  Analyze profit of each onion line, variety, and even track individual customer profit, and batch level cost & profit.  Sales:  Monitor sales progress & shipments.  Quality:  supplier performance & more...

More...

Auto shipment and sale alerts to customers.  Configure BOM, packing / manufacturing processes, special rules to control the processes in your business (your consultant will do this for you).   

Onion value adding

For food service:  specify the ingredients for each product you manufacture, farmsoft will calculate required quantities to fill open orders and schedule the batch.  Automatic creation of inventory outputs.  All ingredients and inputs are costed.

Unlimited sites & warehouses

Create multiple sites, specify which sites each employee can view (this restricts inventory, orders, invoices etc to selected sites).  Great for businesses with multiple locations across the country or planet.

Advanced tailoring

Add new fields to screens, choose from a wide selection of interfaces (touch based, PC based, data entry, tablet), control special business processes, activate defaults, configure automatic alerts and more...

Purchase orders

Order raw materials, packaging materials and more from suppliers.  Analyze orders and prices using Purchases dashboard. 

Re-order alerts

Receive alerts when inventory needs to be reordered, analyze inventory that will need ordering in the future, and inventory that is approaching expiry...


Finance apps

Integrate in the cloud with Xero finance, or export invoices (AR) and Purchase Orders (AP) to your chosen finance app like MYOB, Quickbooks, , FreshBooks, Wave, SaasAnt, SAGE and others...

Reduce onion waste by 99%

Packing inventory control ensures there is no 'shrinkage', food inventory is FIFO managed, and expiring inventory always monitored.

Reduce administration time by 60%

Automatic paperwork for packing, labels, and reporting reduces the burden on administration teams and saves everyone's time.

Better onion packing quality now

Quality control and food safety has never been easier with industry standard quality tests, food safety checklists; or configure your own tests. 

100% accurate onion packing orders!

Guarantee only the correct inventory is shipped for each order, on time, every time.

Easy onion packing traceability

Perform instant mock recalls and audits at any time, from anywhere. No need to compile reports or search for documents. International food safety standards maintained.

Reduce onion inventory stocking costs by 10%

Project required ingredients & materials to ensure just in time delivery and reduce inventory overheads & waste.

Faster onion packing inventory

Know exactly which inventory is available, where it is, and when it expires:  any-time, anywhere.
No need to manually create reports in spreadsheets, instant real time access to your inventory details.

Easier onion packing work order management

Rapidly assign customer orders to production batches, line & inventory managers receive instant alerts.  Precision processing & packing reduces fresh produce waste.

Onion packing & processing storage and sales quality
Onion packing & processing, boxing, bagging, food service, and inventory QC traceability by farmsoft reduces waste and increases productivity in the onion packing & processing industry
Farmsoft delivers reduced waste in the onion packing traceability & quality control, processing, storage, distribution phases. By enforcing best practices, FIFO, inventory expiry monitoring, and easy stock takes to minimize waste and maximize packing profit. Use bar-code managed inventory, labeling, 3D pallet storage, to help reduce waste. Use farmsoft to process, grade, sort, pack, and value add for any onion type including red onion, white onion, pickle onions, processing onions, brown onion and more.
Onion packing & processing storage and sales quality by farmsoft reduces waste and increases productivity in the onion packing space.
Onion packing & processing storage and sales quality by farmsoft reduces waste and increases productivity in the onion packing space.
ONION PACKING
Conduct recalls in seconds, with full confidence of accuracy and reliability. Minimize risk by ensuring accurate traceability is automatically captured. Pass audits with ease & reduce compliance costs using farmsoft's traceability guidelines. Trace fresh produce up and down the supply chain, over multiple traceability hops. Instantly produce farm records and any other farm traceability records if you optionally use our farm solution.

REDUCE ADMINISTRATION COSTS FOR ONION PACKING
Minimize your administration costs with automatic paperwork generation. Ensure accuracy of paperwork by having necessary documentation (invoice formats, export documents, transport documents etc) automatically generated based on the needs of the specific customer - ensuring timely and accurate documentation. No more rejected orders because of bad documentation accompanying a shipment. Food traceability software made easy!

CONSISTENT QUALITY CONTROL FOR ONION PACKING
Guarantee consistent, accurate, and efficient quality control is performed at any part of the fresh produce handling life-cycle; including during delivery, pre processing, post processing, and dispatch. Create quality control tests based on each customers requirements, and even create a daily factory hygiene test, employee performance tests and more. Accurate quality control helps to improve customer confidence and quality perception. Easily follow fresh produce quality control & fresh produce inventory guidelines.

BETTER PRODUCTION PLANNING & DISPATCH FOR ONION PACKING
Monitor orders, assign orders to specific pack-houses (you can have unlimited processing sites in farmsoft), and allow micro monitoring of each production lines output requirements using dashboards. The dashboards ensure the correct products are produced at the correct time to fill orders. Dispatch teams are given details on their mobile device (or PC/Mac) and scan pallets onto orders. Administration teams can see orders are picked and ready for dispatch, and are presented with the correct documents for printing. All of these features result in improved accuracy of both production and dispatch processes.

OPTIONAL FARM SOFTWARE INTEGRATION FOR FARM TO PLATE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS
Optionally use farmsoft Farm Management software with our Post Harvest solution. Using both solutions provides an end to end solution from field to plate. Farm Management by farmsoft delivers full farm record keeping, farm inventory, cost monitoring, budgeting, best practice enforcement, and adherence to international farming standards. Use Farm Management by farmsoft to manage your own farms, or even hundreds of external farms that supply your fresh produce company.


Onion packing & processing, food service business management software for improved food safety & reduced waste. Onion packing & processing storage and sales quality by farmsoft reduces waste and increases productivity in the onion packing space.

Walla Walla sweet onions double production and reduces cost
Located in Walla Walla, WA, Walla Walla River Packing is the premier supplier of Walla Walla sweet onions. In 2018, they decided to upgrade their onion packing line by incorporating a six- lane, twelve-exit Elisam grader into their operation. The goal of the new line, which went live in June 2019, was to increase production capacity, improve product handling capabilities, decrease labor costs and enhance the quality of their packed product.

Oregon, Washington and Idaho onion producers on Ellips/Elisam:
“Delivering value to the onion industry through increased production, cost reductions and improved product quality”
While everyone is going through unprecedented times and situations, Elisam (powered by Ellips onion grading and sorting technology) continues to expand its customer base by delivering proven value to the North American onion industry.

Walla Walla River Packing, Madison-Cox and Obendorf Farms all installed Elisam onion graders for the 2019/2020 season with the ultimate goal of being able to better serve their customers. With their packing seasons now complete, they are able to look back and assess how their investments helped improve their operational performance. As might be expected, each situation is slightly different, despite this, however, they all achieved significant benefits such as increased production, cost reductions and improved quality. This helped these companies pack their onions to their fullest potential. Ellips grading and sorting technology is now being utilized by 13 onion packers in the Pacific Northwest and over 25 across North America.

Spanish onion packer buys weighing and packing machines
Annually, in the Southern Spanish city of Valencia, Navarro Darder SL packages about 25 000 tonnes of onions. In order to supply their clients in a better and quicker manner, this company has, in recent years, invested heavily in fast, reliable Manter weighing and packing machines. "We are currently working with the MD14 XL. In combination with the latest MBP HS and SAB HS machines, we can quickly change to the required packaging. We now no longer ask our clients when they want to collect; we now ask how many trucks they want to be loaded?" says Commercial Director, José Vte. Darder, laughingly.


Both Cesar Navarro and José Vte. Darder. are convinced that, "by investing in these modern machines we can realise our future growth in a sustainable manner."

Cesar Navarro and José Vte. Darder both see client satisfaction as the most important goal in their daily activities. To ensure this, this business offers a wide range of packaging options for yellow, red, white and sweet onions. Making up 99% of their turnover, onions are by far their most important crop. In early spring, this company also supplies exclusive, regional new potatoes to clients in Spain, as well as abroad. Of the total turnover, 25% remains in Spain. The remaining 75% goes to central markets in the Netherlands, Germany, Northern and Southern Europe and even South America. "Our clients demand a wide product assortment, from small packaging to 5 - 25kg boxes and net bags. It is, therefore, important to us that we can quickly change from one type of packaging to another with our machines", says Navarro. "We deliver a good quality, fast service which is why we can also ask a good price for our products", adds Darder.

There is currently a great demand for onions. Africa is the front runner with shipments this week to Mauritania, Ivory Coast and Senegal. The prices for field crops have risen to 13 cents for direct sales and 14/15 cents for forward sales. According to André van Damme of Dacomex, this is caused by farmers keeping their doors shut and stocks of commercial companies starting to dwindle. The exporter finds it difficult to make any speculations about the onion market when it comes to the long term. "It's certainly not a done deal. I have confidence in the short term, but after that it's a mystery."

"Exports to Africa will soon dissipate and the question is whether it will be taken over by other customers. Africa is now responsible for half of the exports with about 11.000/12.000 tonnes. The question is whether we can maintain those exports. You need demand from a country like Russia for that, but currently there are few signs of that happening. Countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia have reasonable demand as well, but those exports will soon be taken over by New Zealand."

There is no uniformity yet in the pricing of containers, according to André. The prices have increased by 750 Euro with some shipping agencies. For a container of 30 tonnes, you are talking about an additional cost of 2.5 cents per kilo. In addition, the quality of the onions is poor, according to the exporter. "There are few batches that have nothing wrong with them. A batch with 10% tare is one of the better batches. Imagine if Russia were to enter the market in the near future and they are supplied on credit with lesser quality; the question is how that will turn out."

"It's ridiculous that the margins for sorting and packing stations are so narrow with the great export that we have. We are dealing with poor quality onions, but with the current sorting capacity, we can still easily sort 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes. I have my doubts about how things will go in the future when it comes to double sorting capacity. However, we will find that out in the time to come." concludes André.


The onion harvest and packing processes take a lot of work! As you saw in the previous blog on onion harvesting, onions can either be harvested by hand or by machines. Once the onions are harvested, they are transported to the packinghouse. The onion packing process shown below is demonstrated with red onions. However, keep in mind that this is the same process as with yellow and white onions.  Using farmsoft, you can maintain onion traceability with little to no effort, and perform full onion quality control and onion quality inspections.

Onion Packing
To see a complete overview of the onion packing process, check out the video below.



Harris Fresh grows and packs white, yellow and red onions. In order to be able to fulfill all orders that come in for different customers, they run all three colored onions through the packing line each day.

Bin Dump – The harvested bins come in from the field and are dumped into the outdoor bin dump.
Onion Packing - Bin Dump
Conveyor – The onions that were dumped outside are transported inside to the rest of the packing line.
Onion Packing - Conveyor Line
Onion Packing - Conveyor Line
Optical Sorter – The onions are placed into individual cups and pass through the optical sorter. The optical sorter works to sort the onions by size and to detect internal issues. The optical sorter is responsible for directing the different sized onions to the specific sized packing line. It also uses infrared light to detect internal issues that cannot be detected by the human eye. Every time a new issue is detected that the machine does not catch, they are able to train the machine to detect those. This results in less issues for when the product makes it to the middleman and final consumer, and prevents issues from spreading to the surrounding onions.
Onion Packing - Optical Sorter
Packing – The onions that were sized by the optical sorter pass down to the appropriate packing line. There are workers hand sorting to remove any additional product to go to the secondary market or to be culled. The onions then continue on to be mechanically packed into bags.
Onion Packing - Hand Sorting
Onion Packing - Hand Sorting
Onion Packing - Machine Pack
Onion Packing - Machine Pack
Palletizing – The packed bags are sealed by a worker and passed on to a palletizing machine. The palletizing machine stacks the bags to form a pallet. The pallets are then wrapped and prepared for transport.
Onion Packing - Palletizing
When the onions are destined for the processing market, they are bulk packed into bags. These bags measure the size of two bins, without the cost of the weight of the bins. The large pallet bags are transported to the processing plants, where they are lifted up and emptied out via a tied up hole in the bottom of the bag.

Onion Packing - Packed Bulk Bags
The onions are either shipped that same day or are stored in the cooler until they are shipped out. During the harvesting season, onions are harvested and packed within the same 1-2 days. As a result, there is very little cold storage of the product prior to shipment.

I would like to send a big thank you to Harris Fresh for letting me follow along at all of their onion operations. If you would like to learn more about their product offerings, you can check them out here. If you would like to learn practical tips for how to use onions in your meals, check out The National Onion Association’s website.

Wow! Who knew that the onion harvesting process could be so intricate? I recently took a trip to Harris Fresh to see how onions are harvested commercially, including both hand and machine harvesting processes. Since I went during the middle of the harvesting seas;on, I was able to see both the hand harvest and the machine harvesting process. Although they are very different processes, they do both occur at nighttime. On the day I was there visiting, the hand harvesting began at 4pm and the machine harvesting process began at midnight.

How Onions Grow
Why Are Onions Harvested at Night?
Onion Harvesting – Hand Harvest
Onion Hand Harvesting Preparation
Onion Harvesting Process
Onion Curing
Onion Harvesting – Machine Harvest
Which Type of Onions Can be Machine Harvested?
Onion Machine Harvesting Process
How Onions Grow
Onions are root vegetables that grow underground. In large commercial operations, onions are planted in rows to allow for tractors and machinery to aid in the growing and harvesting process.

Why Are Onions Harvested at Night?
Onions are highly susceptible to sunburn. As a result of that and to improve worker harvesting conditions, onions are harvested at night.

At this particular operation, the hand harvest starts in the late afternoon and goes until around midnight. The machine harvest starts around midnight and goes as late as noon the following day.

Onion Harvesting – Hand Harvest
Onion Harvest
As you can see from the picture above, it takes a lot of workers to hand harvest an onion field. Before the harvesting process gets started, there are a few preparation steps that take place first.

Onion Hand Harvesting Preparation
Spiker Roller – The Spiker Roller clears the furrows to make it easier for the undercutter to pass through the field, and cleans off the tops of the onion plants that are located in the furrows.
Undercutting – The Lifter Bar is responsible for undercutting. During this process, the Lifter Bar moves beneath the onion plants that are located underground, and moves the soil to lift the onions to the soil surface to help with the hand harvesting portion.
The preparation steps start approximately one hour before the hand harvest starts. They then continue clearing the field as the workers progress through the field during harvest.

Onion Harvesting Process
The harvesting process consists of the following steps:

Bins – The workers work in pairs and each pair grabs their own bin and takes it to the section where they are harvesting. They use smaller containers during the actual harvesting portion and once those are filled, they are poured into the larger positioned bins.
Trimming – The workers remove the onions from the field (which are now on top of the soil thanks to the undercutting process), and trim the onions with scissors. They remove the top portion of the onion plant and, in some cases, trim the bottom roots. These harvested onions are then placed into the smaller containers.
Bin Dump – When the smaller containers are filled, they are poured into the larger bins. The workers are working at piece rate, so every time they complete a bin, they get credit for it. They then carry another bin to where they have progressed in the field and continue the harvesting process.
Onion Hand Harvest - Bin Dump
Onion Hand Harvest - Trimming Harvested Onions
Onion Hand Harvest
Onion Hand Harvest - Completed Bin
Onion Curing
The harvested bins are then stacked and stay in the field for at least one day prior to transporting to the packinghouse. The white onions stay in the field for one day, and the red onions stay for two. This is what is referred to as the onion curing process, where the harvested onions are left out in the field (this is a really hot region in California’s Central Valley) to dry further to help prevent pathogen growth and water loss during storage.



Onion Harvesting – Machine Harvest
Machine harvesting onions can result in a greater profit for the grower, as it is a quicker harvest with less labor. However, not all onions can be machine harvested due to the potential damage caused.

Which Type of Onions Can be Machine Harvested?
Since machine harvest is a rougher harvesting process compared to hand harvest, it can cause damage to the onions. For this reason, only the yellow and sometimes the red onions are machine harvested. Yellow onions are hardier onions, and can better withstand the mechanical harvest. At the start of the season, from June to late July, the yellow onions are hand harvested and then from the middle to end of the season, the yellow onions are machine harvested. Red onions can also be machine harvested later in the season as well, but white onions are never machine harvested.

Onion Machine Harvesting Process
There are three steps, using three different machines, that comprise the mechanical harvesting process:

Mower – The mower goes through the field first to mow the tops of the onions. The mower does this by going above ground to remove the top portion of the onion plant.
Onion Machine Harvest - Mower
2. Wind Roller – This machine digs the onions out from underground, passes them along a conveyor belt to remove soil and field debris, and then places the two rows of onions picked up and puts them into one row. (This placement is done to prepare for the third step.) There are workers that follow this machine to make sure that all of the onions end up in one row.

Onion Machine Harvest - Wind Roller
Onion Machine Harvest - Wind Roller
3. Top Air – The Top Air picks up two rows of onions at a time, which were originally four rows of onions during the growing season. It then blows air and the onions pop up, and are transported to the upper portion of the machine to be hand sorted by workers. The quality product is then transferred to the adjacent trailer and is then transported to the packinghouse.

Onion Machine Harvest - Top Air & Adjacent Truck
Onion Machine Harvest - Top Air
Onion Machine Harvest - Top Air
Onion Machine Harvest - Hand Sorting
Based on the speed of the harvesting process and the limited amount of workers needed, you can see how this could increase the efficiency of the harvesting process.


Onion Health Research
Onions are powerhouses of nutrition. That’s one reason why they are Nature’s Ninja. They have the power to keep you healthy and help you keep diseases at bay. Researchers all over the world continually work to learn more about the onion’s effects in your diet and your health.

Onion Health Research
Onions not only provide flavor, they also provide important nutrients and health-promoting phytochemicals. Plenty of onion health research provides strong evidence of its nutritional value.

“Onions may be among the vegetables that will be prized not only for their addition to our cuisine, but for their value-added health characteristics,” said Irwin Goldman, Associate Professor of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison.Hamburger with onions
Here are some highlights:

High in Vitamin C, onions are a good source of dietary fiber, and folic acid.
They also contain calcium, iron, and have a high protein quality (ratio of mg amino acid/gram protein).
Onions are low in sodium and contain no fat.
Onions contain quercetin, a flavonoid (one category of antioxidant compounds).
Onions contain organosulfur compounds that may offer unique health benefits.
Antioxidants are compounds that help delay or slow the oxidative damage to cells and tissue of the body. Studies have indicated that quercetin helps to eliminate free radicals in the body, to inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation (an important reaction in the atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease), to protect and regenerate vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant), and to inactivate the harmful effects of chelate metal ions.

Want To Try Some Great Onion Recipes? Go Here.
How to get more quercetin in your diet:
Apples
Tea
Onions
National-Onion-Association-onion-dish3
Studies at Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands, showed that the absorption of quercetin from onions is twice that from tea and more than three times that from apples.

Based on studies conducted at The Queen’s University at Belfast, Ireland and Wageningen Agricultural University, the content of quercetin in onions is estimated to be between 22.40 mg and 51.82 mg per medium-sized onion (100 grams). Further research at the Agricultural University of Wageningen showed that daily consumption of onions may result in increased accumulation of quercetin in the blood.

Several studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects quercetin from onions has on the body. Many have shown that consumption of onions may be beneficial for reduced risk of certain diseases.

This 2015 study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, concluded that supplementation with 162 mg/d quercetin from onion skin extract lowers ambulatory blood pressure in patients with hypertension, suggesting a cardioprotective effect of quercetin.

Other studies suggest that the increased quercetin accumulation from eating onions translates into significant antioxidant benefit. The results of this study indicate that quercetin metabolites present in systemic circulation after quercetin consumption may act as potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents and should without doubt be considered when defining overall biological activity of quercetin-rich food in vitro and in vivo.

This study found that onion had an anti-diabetic effect in animals and a blood sugar lowering effect in humans.

This study, published in April 2020 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that a diet rich in flavonoids — commonly found in onions — can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias.

Onions – Phytochemical And Health Research
Click here to view or download the guide (PDF)

Consumption of onions may prevent gastric ulcers by scavenging free radicals and by preventing growth of the ulcer-forming microorganism, Heliobacter pylori.

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers found that the more pungent onions exhibit strong anti-platelet activity. Platelet aggregation is associated with atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.
A European study in 2006 looked at the extent to which onion consumption and specific onion compounds affect the in vivo aggregation of blood platelets. This study states that a diet rich in quercetin from onions suggests that “those who preferentially consume high amounts of quercetin-containing foods have a reduced risk of thrombosis and cardiovascular disease risk.”

A study at the University of Bern in Switzerland showed that consumption of one gram dry onion per day for four weeks increased bone mineral content in rats by more than 17% and mineral density by more than 13% compared to animals fed a control diet. This data suggests onion consumption has the potential to decrease the incidence of osteoporosis.

Effects on cancers
Several studies have shown quercetin to have beneficial effects against many diseases and disorders including cataracts, cardiovascular disease as well as cancer of the breast, colon, ovarian, gastric, lung, and bladder.

A 2019 study in China found that regular consumption of allium vegetables (of which the onion is a member) could reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer by as much as 79 percent. The study recommended consumption of 35 pounds of alliums per year. (That’s slightly higher than the average American consumption of onions, which sat at 21.9 pounds per person in 2017.

A study published in August 2019 showed a clear link between the amount of onions and garlic consumption and the reduced risk of breast cancer.


Several studies have shown quercetin to have beneficial effects against many diseases and disorders including cataracts, cardiovascular disease as well as cancer of the breast, colon, ovarian, gastric, lung, and bladder.

In addition to quercetin, onions contain organosulfur compounds, including disulfides, trisulfides, cepaene and vinyl dithiins. These compounds have a variety of health-functional properties, including anticancer and antimicrobial activities.