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VIDALIA ONIONS SET TO SHIP APRIL 16
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Announces Official Pack Date for 2020

ATLANTA, March 24, 2020 – For Vidalia® onion fans, spring doesn’t officially start until the iconic vegetable ships to stores around the country. This year, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Vidalia Onion Committee have set April 16, 2020 as the official pack date for America’s favorite sweet onion.

“Along with the Vidalia Onion Committee, I am pleased to announce April 16, 2020, as the official pack date for Vidalia onions,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “As the keeper of the official trademark for our state vegetable, we are proud of the reputation Vidalia onions have earned around the world by both renowned chefs and home cooks.” Hand-cultivated by 60 registered growers in 20 southeastern Georgia counties, the date the unique onion ships is an annual rite of spring because it is only available for a short period of time each year. The pack date is determined by soil and weather conditions during the growing season that help ensure only the highest quality Vidalia onions, known for their sweet, mild  flavor, are shipped to stores. The Vidalia Onion Committee voted unanimously for the April 16 date.

“We are going to have a strong harvest this year,” said Aries Haygood, the newly elected chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee, who noted that 9,400 acres of Vidalia onions were planted for the season.

The Vidalia Onion Committee is continuing its “Sweet Life” marketing campaign launched last year to reach home cooks across the country who enjoy cooking and entertaining. “The campaign has enabled us to elevate our brand with broad groups of consumers who value good taste and living well,” said Haygood.

Vidalia onions represent about 40 percent of the sweet onion market in the country and are sold in every state. The Vidalia trademark is owned by the state of Georgia because of the Vidalia Onion Act of 1986. To be considered a Vidalia onion, the vegetables must be cultivated in the South Georgia soil from a distinctive Granex seed and packed and sold on or after the official pack date each year, resulting in only the highest-quality onions reaching Vidalia fans each season.

More information about Vidalia onions can be found at vidaliaonion.org, and updates on this season’s news will be shared on Vidalia Onion Committee’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube accounts.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee
Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia onions. The Vidalia Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

About the GDA
The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is the voice of the state’s agriculture community. The department's mission is to provide excellence in services and regulatory functions, to protect and promote agriculture and consumer interests, and to ensure an abundance of safe food and fiber for Georgia, America, and the world by using state-of-the-art technology and a professional workforce. For more information, visit www.agr.georgia.gov.


THE “SWEET COMFORT” OF VIDALIA ONIONS ARRIVING SOON, AMERICA
The Iconic Vegetable Starts Shipping Today As Onion Sales Spike Across The Country

VIDALIA, Ga. (April 16, 2020) – Vidalia onions, the sweet Southern staple, begin shipping today – the official pack date – bringing their unique flavor to home cooked meals across the country.
An annual rite of spring, Vidalia onions are hand-cultivated by 50 registered growers in 20 southeastern Georgia counties and are only available for a short period of time each year. “With more people cooking at home today, onion sales have increased dramatically, and that may impact the availability of Vidalia onions around the country,” said Aries Haygood, the newly elected chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee, who noted that 9,400 Vidalia onion acres were planted for the season.

According to recent figures from IRI, onion sales increased by 60 percent mid-March alone and are expected to remain steady as consumers stock-up at grocery stores and cook more meals at home, reversing decades-long category trends.

Virginia Willis, well-known chef, James Beard Award recipient and author of Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South, said that in these trying times, home-cooked meals are providing more than basic nutrition. “One of the hallmarks of southern cooking is not only the notion that food can feed the spirit, but also the sheer practicality with which we approach every meal,” said Willis. “Many of the best traditions of Southern cuisine were born out of necessity.”

Willis recommends that families look to some of these southern traditions for inspiration: “Southern cooks are true experts at making beautiful use of ingredients available around them. They have always leaned into creativity with seasonal, local, tasty foods that are efficient to feed the whole family. Vidalia onions are an important part of that tradition.”

More information about Vidalia onions can be found at vidaliaonion.org, and updates on this season’s news will be shared on Vidalia Onion Committee’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube accounts.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee
Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia onions. The Vidalia Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.


LIFE JUST GOT A LOT SWEETER: THE 2019 VIDALIA ONION CROP HEADS TO STORES TODAY
America’s Favorite Sweet Onion Season Kicks Off April 22

VIDALIA, Ga. (April 22, 2019) – Get ready to celebrate “The Sweet Life,” Vidalia onion fans! The 2019 Vidalia Onion season has officially begun for the renowned vegetable adored by the world’s best chefs and home cooks alike for its sweet and crisp flavor.

A rite of passage every spring, the sweet juicy bulbs are cultivated by 50 registered growers and are available for a limited time each year from April to August. One of the world’s mildest onions,  he way Vidalia onions are grown and raised enhances the onion’s unique taste, sweetness and texture.

“We have had a strong harvest this year and consumers can look forward to a bountiful supply of Vidalia onions to spice up their favorite dishes from salads to desserts,” said Troy Bland, chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC), which oversees marketing for the hand-planted and hand-harvested vegetable.

According to Bland, 9,356 acres of Vidalia onions will be harvested this year. Vidalia onions comprise 62 percent of sweet onion sales in the United States and 22 percent of total onion sales.

This year, the VOC is launching a new marketing campaign, “The Sweet Life,” to highlight the unique role Vidalia onions play as a tasteful addition to a dish that help consumers elevate their  cooking and entertaining style to make life sweeter and more enjoyable. “After a successful two-year marketing effort to raise the profile of Vidalia onions among food connoisseurs, ‘The Sweet Life’ leverages our enhanced brand prominence to a wider audience,” said Bland. “Based on the findings of the research, the goal of the campaign is to position the brand as a signifier of good taste and living well for consumers who like to cook, entertain and, of course, use Vidalia onions.”

The campaign will include targeted advertising, influencer outreach, direct mail and participation in Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown marketing programs including agricultural tours and chef tastings.

More information about Vidalia onions can be found at vidaliaonion.org, and updates on this season’s news will be shared on Vidalia Onion Committee’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube accounts.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee
Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia onions. The Vidalia Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.


VIDALIA ONIONS SET TO SHIP APRIL 22
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Announces Official Pack Date for 2019

ATLANTA, March 18, 2019 – Get those taste buds ready, Vidalia Onion lovers, because America’s favorite sweet onion will soon be on the way. The Georgia Department of Agriculture and the  idalia Onion Committee announced today that the pack date for the 2019 Vidalia Onion® season is 8 a.m. on Monday, April 22.

“With tremendous consideration after consultation with the Vidalia Advisory Panel, industry experts from the University of Georgia and crop assessments from the Georgia Federal State Inspection Service, I am pleased to announce April 22 as this year’s pack date for the official state vegetable of Georgia, the Vidalia onion,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. “For more than two decades, Georgia’s Vidalia onion trademark has garnered global recognition, reaffirming our trust in the Vidalia onions being among the highest-quality in the food industry.”

The annual Vidalia Onion pack date is a rite of spring for fans of the vegetable because it is only available for a limited amount of time each year. The unique onion, adored by cooks for its sweet, mild flavor, is hand-cultivated in 20 southeastern Georgia counties by 80  egistered growers.

Each year, the Vidalia Onion Advisory Panel, state agricultural scientists and the Department of Agriculture determine the pack date based on soil and weather conditions in South Georgia during the growing season to help ensure only the highest-quality onions are shipped to stores across the country. In 2018, 9,356.26 acres of Vidalia onions were hand-planted to be harvested  in the  orthcoming weeks, according to Troy Bland, chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee.

This year, the Vidalia Onion Committee is launching “The Sweet Life”, a new marketing campaign to reach home cooks across the country. The campaign targets grocery shoppers who enjoy cooking and entertaining.

“The Sweet Life builds on our very successful marketing effort over the last two years that helped to raise the profile of the Vidalia onion among food connoisseurs, particularly millennials who set many of today’s consumer trends,” said Bland. “Now we plan to focus on broader category of consumers who like to cook, entertain and use onions. The goal is to elevate the brand as a signifier of good taste and living well.”

Vidalia onions represent about 40 percent of the sweet onion market in the country and are sold in every state. The Vidalia trademark is owned by the state of Georgia because of the Vidalia Onion Act of 1986. To be considered a Vidalia onion, the vegetables must be cultivated in the South Georgia soil from a distinctive Granex seed and packed and sold after the official pack date each year, resulting in only the highest-quality onions reaching Vidalia fans each season.

More information about Vidalia onions can be found at vidaliaonion.org, and updates on this season’s news will be shared on Vidalia Onion Committee’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube accounts.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee
Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia onions. The Vidalia Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

About the GDA

The Georgia Department of  griculture (GDA) is the voice of the state’s agriculture community. The department’s mission is to provide excellence in services and regulatory functions, to protect and promote agriculture and consumer interests, and to ensure an abundance of safe food and fiber for Georgia, America, and the world by using state-of-the-art technology and a professional workforce. For more  nformation, visit www.agr.georgia.gov.


THE 2018 VIDALIA ONION SEASON KICKS OFF APRIL 20
America’s Favorite Sweet Onion Heads to Stores Across the Country

VIDALIA, Ga. (April 20, 2018) – Ready, set, gone!! The 2018 crop of Vidalia onions began shipping today to the delight of the world’s best chefs and home cooks, who adore the legendary onions for their sweet, distinctive flavor.“I look forward to stocking up on a fresh supply of onions during Vidalia season every year,” said Chef Kevin Gillespie, renowned chef and owner of the beloved Atlanta restaurants Gunshow and Revival. “Thanks to their versatility and ability to add the perfect flavor to a wide variety of recipes, Vidalias are the only sweet onions I use in my restaurants.”

Cultivated only in 20 southeastern Georgia counties by 80 farmers and available in the spring and summer months, growers report another strong harvest for the crop this season.

“This season’s harvest ensures consumers will have an abundance of Vidalia onions to add to their favorite foods,” said Troy Bland, chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC), which oversees the marketing of the hand-planted and hand-harvested vegetable. In 2017, Georgia growers harvested nearly 230 million pounds of Vidalia onions with a value of more than $150 million.

Bland noted that the VOC will expand its “Only Vidalia” marketing campaign launched last year to remind people of the Vidalia onion’s sweet, mild flavor profile that is an essential ingredient for a wide range of dishes including salads, dressings and even desserts.

“We are very pleased with the ‘Only Vidalia’ campaign, which will feature advertising aimed at consumers and grocery retailers, an expanded social media outreach, blogger partnerships and a host of other activities during the season,” Bland said.

As part of this year’s campaign, VOC is working with Chef Gillespie to help promote the vegetable to aspiring chefs, home cooks and professionals alike.

Last year, the VOC celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Vidalia trademark, which is owned by the state of Georgia. Vidalia onions are Georgia’s official state vegetable and represent about 40 percent of the national sweet onion market.

Visit vidaliaonion.org for more information about Vidalia onions, and follow the season’s news on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

About the Vidalia® Onion CommitteeBecause Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No.955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.


OMAR CRUZ, R.T. STANLEY HONORED AT 27th VIDALIA ONION AWARDS BANQUET

VIDALIA, Ga. (Feb. 21, 2018) – Omar Cruz, agronomist for Bland Farms, was named the 2018 “Grower of the Year” and long-time industry icon, R.T. Stanley, was inducted into the Vidalia Onion Hall of Fame during the Vidalia Onion Committee 2018 awards banquet.

More than 200 guests attended the annual event, which celebrated a strong production year in 2017 that also marked the 25th anniversary of the Vidalia onion trademark.

“Our congratulations to Omar and R.T. on being selected to receive our industry’s top honors,” said Bob Stafford, interim executive director, Vidalia Onion Committee. “We enjoyed one of our strongest seasons in 2017, and we are looking forward to a good harvest this year.”

Omar Cruz earned his degree in agronomy from the University of Havana in La Habana, Cuba. Cruz has been farming with Bland Farms in Tattnall County since 2005. He shares his vast knowledge with various Vidalia onion growers in the surrounding counties.

Omar has hosted numerous onion trials that have yielded valuable information to benefit the Vidalia industry.

R.T. Stanley started farming in 1964 as a sharecropper with his uncle and a decade later established Stanley Farms with his father. In the late 70s, Stanley Farms began farming Vidalia onions with their first five acres. This small acreage later grew into more than a thousand acres.

One of the industry’s most influential growers, R.T. has hosted many onion events over the years, including for the National Onion Association. He considers himself very fortunate that all three of his sons – Brian, Tracy and Vince – graduated from the University of Georgia and came back to Toombs County to be a part of Stanley Farms.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee

Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No.955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit www.agr.georgia.gov.


Vidalia Onion Growers to Launch New Logo. Preview 2018 Marketing Campaign at Produce Marketing Association
New Branding Debuts During Vidalia Onion Trademark’s 25th Anniversary Year

NEW ORLEANS (Oct. 19, 2017)  –  The Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC) will launch a new logo for America’s favorite sweet onion during the annual Produce Marketing Association (PMA) conference held Oct. 19-21, 2017 here.

The new brand mark reflects the artisanal approach to growing Vidalia onions that farmers have perfected over time. “We think the new logo captures the proud history of Vidalia onions that have been handcrafted by generations of grower artisans for more than 80 years in Georgia,” said Bob Stafford, the VOC’s interim executive director. “Yet, it also brings an updated, modern look to our brand that we believe will resonate with today’s consumers.”

The new logo will be featured in the Vidalia 2018 marketing campaign, “Only Vidalia,” which reminds people that only Vidalia onions have the sweet, mild flavor profile that has made it an essential ingredient for a wide range of dishes including salads, dressings and even desserts.

The 2018 “Only Vidalia” campaign will also feature a new 60-second video spot that tells the story of Vidalia and why it’s special. The campaign also includes advertising aimed at consumers and grocery retailers; social media content and blogger partnerships – all inviting people to rediscover the original sweet onion.  Both the logo and the video will be featured in the Vidalia PMA exhibit booth 4116 in the Georgia Grown pavilion.

The introduction of the new logo and campaign spot coincide with the 25th Anniversary year of the Vidalia trademark. The state of Georgia passed the Vidalia Onion Act in 1986, but did not become the official owner of the Vidalia trademark until 1992. The annual crop, which experienced one of its best harvests in recent years this season, is produced by 100 registered growers in 20 South Georgia counties and is available in the spring and summer.

As a part of the 25th Anniversary observance, the VOC is partnering with several leading area restaurants to celebrate “Vidalia Onion Week” from Oct. 15-21, 2017 when the PMA event is in the city.

Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House, Dickie Brennan’s Tableau, Fogo de Chao News Orleans, Galatoire’s Restaurant, New Orleans Creole Cookery, and Briquette will be incorporating the Vidalia onion in a number of special dishes during the week, including:

  • Vidalia Onion Rings, Bourbon House Salad, Bourbon House Burger and Redfish on the Half-Shell with Crabmeat at Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House;
  • A Vidalia onion salad at Fogo de Chao;
  • Lunch specials at Galatoire’s Restaurant and Friday lunch specials at Galatoire’s “33” Bar and Steak;
  • Vidalia onion straw appetizer and inclusion in various signature dishes at New Orleans Creole Cookery;
  • Creole French Vidalia Onion Soup at Dickie Brennan’s Tableau;
  • Roasted Vidalia Onion, Buttered Potato, Smoked Ham Au Gratin at Briquette.

“As two iconic southern brands, New Orleans and Vidalia onions are a perfect pairing,” said Stafford. “We are very pleased to partner with some of the Crescent City’s leading restaurants to celebrate the unique flavor that can only be found in Georgia’s own Vidalia onions.”

In addition to the partnership with local restaurants, former Top Chef Contestant and Georgia native, Eli Kirshtein, will be doing cooking demonstrations featuring Vidalia onions at the VOC booth.

Vidalia onions are Georgia’s official state vegetable, grown on 12,000 acres annually and represent about 40 percent of the sweet onion market.  Sold in every state, the annual value of the crop is about $150 million.(1)

To get a sneak preview of the new video, visit our YouTube page. Visit vidaliaonion.org to view the new logo and for more information about Vidalia onions, and follow the season’s news on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee

Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

(1)  According to findings from the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development – University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ 2014 Farm Gate Value Report published in September 2015.


THE VIDALIAS ARE HERE:  NEW SEASON MARKS 25th ANNIVERSARY FOR AMERICA’S FAVORITE SWEET ONION
Vidalia Onion Committee Unveils “Only Vidalia” Campaign

VIDALIA, Ga. (April 12, 2017) – Vidalia® onion growers launched the 2017 season today, marking the 25th anniversary of the Vidalia onion trademark.

Grown in unique soil and climate conditions found only in 20 South Georgia counties, Vidalia onions – now officially available for retail distribution – are revered by some of the world’s best chefs and home cooks for its sweet, distinctive flavor. The annual crop is produced by 100 registered growers and is available in the spring and summer months, but the first date they can be shipped is determined by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

“We are excited every year when we are able to start shipping our hand-planted and hand-harvested Vidalias,” said Troy Bland, chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC).  “However, this year is special because we are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Vidalia onion trademark that has assured people across the country that they are enjoying the one and only original sweet onion.”

The state of Georgia passed the Vidalia Onion Act in 1986, but did not become the official owner of the Vidalia trademark until 1992. In addition to celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the trademark, the VOC also announced a new marketing campaign, “Only Vidalia.” The campaign highlights the provenance of the Vidalia onion that has been hand crafted by grower artisans for more than 80 years in Georgia. It reminds people that only Vidalia onions have the sweet, mild flavor profile that has made it an essential ingredient for wide range of dishes including salads, dressings and even desserts.

The “Only Vidalia” campaign will feature advertising aimed at consumers and grocery retailers; social media content and blogger partnerships – all inviting people to rediscover the original sweet onion.

Vidalia onions are Georgia’s official state vegetable, grown on 12,000 acres annually and represent about 40 percent of the sweet onion market.  Sold in every state, the annual value of the crop is about $150 million.(1)

Visit vidaliaonion.org for more information about Vidalia onions, and follow the season’s news on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee

Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

According to findings from the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development – University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ 2014 Farm Gate Value Report published in September 2015.

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