VIDALIA, Ga., April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- 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)
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.
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SOURCE Vidalia® Onion Committee