Peri & Sons onions certified sustainable

Peri & Sons Onions
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YERINGTON, Nev. (KOLO) -- A northern Nevada farm is going the extra mile to protect the earth. Peri & Sons farms was recently named the first onion farm in the nation to earn a special certification: certified sustainably-grown.

"We all live in one environment and one world and we should be concerned about the resources that we are utilizing," said Sara Brinkley, food safety officer for Peri & Sons.

The sustainable certification was given by SCS Global, a third party auditor.

"We went through a rigorous certification process where people have come and verified that our practices match up with our sustainable standards for environmental and social aspects," said Brinkley.

Instead of flood irrigating, Peri & Sons uses drip irrigation, which reduces water use by over 50%. The farm also closely monitors soil nutrients, adding only what is necessary so nothing runs off into the nearby Walker River.

"We're making sure that we are always doing our best to become more efficient in conservation of our water to our materials," said Brinkley.

The sustainably-grown certification is one Peri & Sons has been working toward for years. It not only looks at their growing practices, but also their quality of product, working conditions, and worker quality of life. The farm actually houses most of their workers free of charge.

All these aspects seem like they'd be expensive, but that's not the case.

"You are saving more money. You are conserving your energy usage, your water usage, you are treating your employees better, and therefore having less turnover," said Brinkley.

While this is not a state or federal designation, the Nevada Department of Agriculture is commending Peri & Sons Farms on this accomplishment.