Court Invalidates New Rules on Vidalia Sweet Onion Ship Date
By Grocery Headquarters Staff
On March 19, 2014, Judge Cynthia D. Wright of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit of the Superior Court of Fulton County ruled in favor of Bland Farms' challenge of the legality of the Georgia Department of Agriculture's mandatory uniform start date for the shipping of Vidalia Sweet Onions. As a result of the ruling, Bland Farms and other licensed Vidalia Sweet Onion growers will be able to continue shipping Vidalia Sweet Onions on their traditional timetable. Delbert Bland, owner and president of Bland Farms, is pleased with the decision and feels that a mandate isn't the best way to determine when the famous sweet onion is ready for shipment, "Mother Nature will decide when our Vidalia Sweet Onions are ready to ship, not an arbitrary date on the calendar. I'm glad that we'll be able to ship our onions on the normal timetable and our customers can expect that." Bland says he is happy with how this year's Vidalia Sweet Onion crop is shaping up: "It looks great and I feel good about it. The quality looks like it could be excellent and it appears that we are going to have promotable quantities available."Customers can expect Vidalia Sweet Onions to be available around the same time this year as in years past, but there remains the possibility that onions could potentially be available by Easter.