Onion promotions for the Treasure Valley area for 2012 aren’t only directed at retail audiences, according to Sherise Jones, marketing director for the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee.

The group also plans to revisit a broker incentive program and continue fall farm and shed tours.

The broker incentive program is something the committee has done in the past, according to Jones, but not for the past two seasons.

“We recognize these brokers do help us by buying our product and encouraging their customers to buy onions, and hopefully our onions,” Jones said.

She said the committee is excited to bring back the incentive program for brokers in conjunction with the large Weber grills retail-based promotion also planned for this season.

The program, similar to past years, will offer points, each point equal to a dollar, per load of onions that the broker purchases from the Treasure Valley area, according to Jones.

“Those points, up to $2,500 in credit, will be available for the broker to then purchase Weber products though a catalog, and all the points, even those exceeding 2,500, will be entered into a drawing,” she said.

The catalog, which is still being finalized, will have several items to choose from, according to Jones.

“It seems everyone likes Weber, and the brokers will have an opportunity to be involved in that as well. It’s a very cool catalog.”

VIP onion trip

Jones is also excited about the continued farm and packing shed tours that will be held the third week in September.

“It’s been very popular in the past, and we look forward to it each year,” she said.

The event is an all-expenses-paid trip for onion buyers and decision makers to come out and visit the area, giving those individuals an up-close look at the onion harvest and packing procedures.

“It’s a good opportunity for these people to see our growing, harvesting and packing processes firsthand.

The trip has a fairly busy schedule, according to Jones, who says the buyers have a dinner with lots of networking opportunities on their first night.

“Then we get them to as many sheds as possible during the trip and try to let them see the fields and the actual harvesting. It’s pretty amazing that they can just see how many acres we really have in this valley,” she said.

Space is limited, however.

“We ask interested onion buyers to complete an application online and then we select as many as we can,” she said. “We just try to make sure they are a qualified buyer.”

In the past, the committee has been able to accommodate up to 20 people, and interested buyers can visit www.usaonions.com to sign up for the trip.