Bland Farms Debuts New Facility and Products to Support Strong Sweet Onion Market
- by Jordan Okumura
GLENVILLE, GA - As Texas wraps up its sweet onion deal, onion growers in the south will be transitioning full time to their operations in Georgia. With the Vidalia onion pack date set for April 25th, the season for one of the most popular onion varieties is looking to take off in both the market, and with the consumer.
“The sweet onion market as a whole is very strong as is pricing, as we move from our Texas onion program in Donna to our operations in Georgia. Bland Farms will be shipping Georgia sweet onions that both meet and exceed the federal marketing order standards for Vidalia Onions up through the pack date and throughout the season,” Delbert Bland, President and Owner of Bland Farms tells me. “Our plan is to have Georgia Sweets, Georgia grown sweet onions, shipping from our Georgia operations two weeks before the pack date but we will have to wait until April 25th to officially label them ‘Vidalia.’ But don’t be mistaken, these sweet onions are the same quality with the same Bland Farms promise.”
New to the program this year for the Glennville, Georgia-based company, Bland Farms is debuting a refreshed packinghouse with state-of-the-art equipment to enhance its packing line and increase efficiency across the program. The revamp now features a completely enclosed facility for better climate control, and a more advanced and high-tech sizer to ensure greater precision while sorting the onions for discoloration and blemishes.
“Our advancements at the packing house level continue to remove the human error that can come with grading onions,” Delbert adds, “allowing us to bring a better product to market.”
As we previously reported, Bland Farms is introducing a few new items, under the Vidalia Brands label, to its product mix as well this season. Vidalia Brands is a sister company to Bland and produces snacks, condiments, seasonings, salsas, dressings, and more. This year Bland Farms has added Sour Cream and Onion Petals to its existing line of sweet onion and sweet potato flavored snack chips, with merchandising resources and opportunities to help support retailers as we move through the spring.
With Vidalia onions gearing up during the rest of April, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow as we bring you more updates on the market and retail programs.