Court Dismisses Complaint; Rules Injunctive Relief Already Obtained by Bland Farms Bland Farms Will Ship USDA #1 Graded Vidalia Sweet Onions ImmediatelyGLENNVILLE, GA. (Apr. 15, 2014) – Judge D. Jay Stewart of the Superior Court of Tattnall County, Georgia, today dismissed Bland Farms request for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. Judge Stewart ruled that Bland Farms had already obtained an order on March 19, 2014 from the Superior Court of Fulton County (the “Fulton County Order”) declaring the new packing rule “void and unenforceable” as well as an injunction barring the Commissioner of Agriculture from taking any enforcement action under such rule. Commissioner Black has publicly stated that the Fulton County Order did not grant injunctive relief to Bland Farms and that he intended to enforce the new packing date rule. Judge Stewart’s ruling makes it clear that the Fulton County Order declared the packing rule void and unenforceable and prohibits the Commissioner from enforcing the new packing date rule. As such, all registered growers, including Bland Farms, may immediately pack and ship Vidalia sweet onions that meet USDA #1 grade. About Bland Farms Headquartered in Glennville, Georgia, Bland Farms is the largest grower, packer, and shipper of the world famous Vidalia® sweet onion and is a supplier of sweet onions year-round. Visit www.blandfarms.com for more information.
Court Invalidates New Rules on Vidalia Sweet Onion Ship Date
Bland Farms to Ship Vidalia Sweet Onions on Traditional Timetable
GLENNVILLE, GA. (Mar. 19, 2014) – 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. Owner and President of Bland Farms, Delbert Bland, 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 pleased with the way 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.