Georgia Dept. of Ag closes onion investigation - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Georgia Dept. of Ag closes onion investigation

TOOMBS CO., GA (WTOC) -

The Georgia Department of Agriculture placed Toombs County's Stanley Farms on probation after finding imported onions in the same storage area as some of the trademark Vidalia Onions. 

They didn't find any evidence that non-Vidalia's were shipped or sold under the name.

Southeast Georgia farmers who grow the world-famous onions entered a federal marketing order in 1980 that allows the state agriculture department to regulate how those farmers grow, pack, ship, and sell anything under the trademark. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black previously confirmed they were investigating Stanley Farms after a complaint filed by another farm. 

The department issued the following statement:
“After a thorough investigation the Georgia Department of Agriculture is confident that the Vidalia trademark has not been compromised through any improper packing of non-Vidalia onions in Vidalia branded bags.  What we did find was improper storage of organic yellow onions in a Vidalia packing facility. We promptly responded with a hold placed on those onions until all inventory could be traced and accounted for, preventing the onions from entering the retail fresh market.  Stanley Farms has been placed on one-year probation and we are working with them to implement an improved inventory management plan.”

The investigation was the first of Stanley Farms since the family sold their multi-million dollar operation last fall to a subsidiary company owned by Bill and Melinda Gates.

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