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Tory_g500pxAward Winning New Orleans Chef Teams Up with Bland Farms at PMA Fresh Summit Booth 5527

Bland Farms is excited to team up with Commander’s Palace Executive Chef Tory McPhail at this year’s PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans, Louisiana. McPhail is a James Beard Rising Start Chef and Best Chef South winner. He will be showcasing his delicious New Orleans creations and highlighting the great flavors of Bland Farms sweet onions.

About Chef Tory McPhail

Tory McPhail has followed a path forged from hard work to arrive at the historic Commander’s Palace restaurant’s storied chef legacy, which has cultivated the likes of Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, and Jamie Shannon. McPhail hails from Ferndale, WA, a small town near the Canadian border, where he learned to appreciate local goods and the comfortable gathering place of his parents’ kitchen. Corn planted in the spring would become dinner in the summer; fish caught in the afternoon from his family’s stocked pond would make it to the plate by dusk. “I knew food didn’t just come from the grocery store and magically appear there,” he says. “Being able to watch it all grow gave me a passion for natural foods.” After high school, McPhail attended Seattle Community College and received an ACF-accredited degree in culinary science. Compelled by New Orlean’s history, soul, and Mardi Gras celebrations won him over, he moved upon graduation and at just 19, he was hired by Commander’s Palace Executive Chef Jamie Shannon. He worked diligently through all 12 stations of the kitchen, honing his craft and making a positive impression on his boss. In search of “as much experience as possible, as quickly as possible,” McPhail later completed a series of stints at several culinary hot spots, including the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, FL; the Michelin-starred L’Escargot in London and its sister restaurant, the Michelin two- star Picasso Room; and the Caribbean/Creole-intensive Mongoose Restaurant in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In spring of 2000, McPhail returned to the Commander’s family as executive sous chef at Commander’s Palace Las Vegas. Though he loved his job there, New Orleans and Chef Shannon beckoned, and he returned to the Big Easy where the Brennan family named him executive chef of the original Commander’s Palace in January 2002. Today, McPhail continues his dedication to creating and sustaining strong relationships with local purveyors, as well as executing exciting dishes in the Commander’s kitchen. “I’m always thinking very forward when it comes to Creole food,” he says. A passionate and resolute chef who pursues culinary perfection, McPhail delights in exploring a variety of flavors in his seasonal menus—embracing Creole traditions while updating classic dishes with fresh, local ingredients. His Creole Seared Gulf Fish, for example, showcases farm-fresh produce like Spring Mushrooms, Corn, Fingerling Potatoes and seared Speckled Trout. McPhail’s masterful work has not only kept Commander’s Palace at the top of critics’ lists, but has also led him to numerous TV appearances, including Bravo’s “Top Chef,” on which he was a guest judge along-side Commander’s Co-Proprietor Ti Adelaide Martin; NBC’s “Today”; CBS’s “Early Show”; “Paula’s Party” with Paula Dean; “After Hours With Daniel Boulud”; and numerous Food Network programs, including “Sara’s Secrets,” “My Country, My Kitchen,” “Into the Fire,” and “Bobby Flay’s Food Nation.” Tory also co-hosted “Off the Menu,” which aired on Turner South Network for six years. A James Beard Rising Star Chef and Best Chef South winner, McPhail was also named as one of Saveur magazine’s inaugural “Tastemaker Chefs” in 2012; awarded the winner of the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in 2009; co-authored Commander’s Wild Side with Martin, a collection of recipes taken from the legendary restaurant’s kitchen; has served on the Nutrition Advisory Board for Cooking Light magazine; and has been a spokesperson for Wild American Shrimp and for McCormick’s Old Bay seasoning.

Promotable Vidalia® Volume Remains Available Through Labor Day

Crop Extends Retailers’ Vidalia Sweet Onion Offering To Consumers Longer Than Anticipated

Vidalia Sweet Onions

Vidalia Sweet Onions

GLENNVILLE, GA. (Jun. 27, 2013) – An impressive volume of Vidalia sweet onions is benefitting both grower/packer/shippers and retailers who, unlike last year, have the opportunity to capitalize on an extended product offering. Bland Farms is poised to supply retailers well into late August with what they believe are the highest quality Vidalia sweet onions in recent years. Retailers seeking to maximize sales of the most widely recognized sweet onion are able to continue heavy promotion of Vidalia sweet onions in-store for an additional few months rather than switching to a less popular sweet onion offering. According to the 2012 FAIR study conducted by the Vidalia Onion Committee, nearly four out of every five people in the US choose Vidalia sweet onion’s as their favorite. Owner and President, Delbert Bland, advises consistent promotion of Vidalia sweet onions during the second half of the season through Labor Day. “The research we did in 2012 with the Nielsen Perishables Group showed us that consumers are willing to pay a 20 percent premium for sweet onions”, says Bland, “with Vidalia being the most popular variety, we’ve got plenty of volume to supply our customers with so they can make the most of the season before shifting into another variety.”

Sweet Onion Category Leader Bland Farms Names Bryce Edmonson as CEO

Twenty Five Year Fresh Produce Veteran Joins Bland Farms

Sweet Onions

Bryce Edmonson

GLENNVILLE, GA. (Dec. 7, 2012) – The sweet onion category leader announced today the appointment of Bryce Edmonson as Bland Farms’s new CEO, effective on January 13, 2013. Mr. Edmonson brings more than twenty-five years of industry experience to the nationally recognized sweet onion company and replaces Bruce Peterson who has served as interim CEO since July 1, 2011. Peterson will remain on the Bland Farms board of advisors. Mr. Edmonson spent 18 years with Del Monte Fresh Produce before starting an agribusiness consulting company in 2005 dedicated to helping position companies for growth. He has served on the Bland Farms board for the last three years and also currently serves on several other food company boards. During his time at Del Monte, Edmonson was in charge of leading the North American organization and was integral in growing the operation from $400 million to $1.2 billion in sales. Bland Farms Owner and President, Delbert Bland, believes that Edmonson is a perfect fit for the family owned and operated company, “Our family business has grown in 30 years from a small farm in Georgia to a farm that has sites across the US and internationally. Bryce has a great deal of experience helping multi-site farms like ours grow and we’re excited to have his leadership.” Remaining a family farm and serving customers is of the utmost importance to Mr. Bland and with the guidance and leadership of Edmonson Bland’s hope is to continue growing the business steadily while remaining 100% customer focused. “Bryce understands that the success we’ve had over the years is due to the fact that we’re a small family farm at heart”, said Bland. “Our customers are like family and that won’t change because that’s who we are.”

New talent at Bland Farms poises company for bright future

Sweet onion category leader continues to attract and develop brightest talent

Sweet Onion Leader

Bland Farms Sweet Onions

GLENNVILLE, GA. (July 16, 2012) – Bland Farms is poised to push forward as the sweet onion category innovator and market leader, knowing that the company is now better equipped and more prepared to meet the challenges of a growing company in the fresh produce industry. John Cameron Joins Bland Farms as Director of Sales One of the biggest reasons that Bland Farms feels so confident about the immediate and long-term future of the organization is the continued ability to attract and recruit highly talented personnel. As of July 1, John Cameron, formerly of San Antonio based NatureSweet, was hired as Bland Farms’ new Director of Sales. Cameron brings a wealth of knowledge to the organization and a background in retail, which Bland Farms believes will be key in identifying unique, highly customer-focused sweet onion programs. According to Cameron, joining, “a pioneer in the sweet onion category”, was a very exciting opportunity and he plans to replicate the experiences gained in the tomato category to the sweet onion category. Bland Farms CEO Bruce Peterson believes that Cameron’s leadership and fresh point of view will be extremely valuable to the organization, “ I am delighted to welcome John to the Bland Farms team. John is an excellent leader and has a proven track record of success.  He will not only add a new dimension to our sales team, but will help to broaden the perspective of our entire leadership team.” Glen Willard hired as Director of Vidalia Brands In addition to John Cameron’s hiring, Bland Farms has also boosted its private label condiment brand, Vidalia Brands, with the hiring of industry veteran Glen Willard. Willard, who joins as Director of Vidalia Brands, arrives from Sensible Sales & Marketing, Inc. where he was President of the Richmond Hill, Georgia, based Food Brokerage Company. Throughout the course of his career Willard has been successful at identifying opportunities and seizing them, which is exactly what he plans to do with Vidalia Brands. According to Willard, Vidalia Brands has big plans, “I’m very excited to be part of the Bland Farms team once again. Vidalia Brands will be the division to watch as we introduce new, innovative and value-added products to the marketplace. Our strategy is to develop products for retail, club, foodservice and industrial sales that will give our customers a competitive advantage.” Troy Bland promoted to Quality Control Director Bland Farms has always maintained a commitment to quality, but amplified its commitment to quality recently by promoting Troy Bland to Quality Control Director. The move signals a heightened focus on quality control throughout the entire supply chain from farm to consumer. Bland says that his goal is to ensure that Bland Farms’ customers, “consistently receive the quality that they have come to expect.” Chief Executive Officer Bruce Peterson is excited to see Bland embrace his new challenge. He views it as a wonderful opportunity for both Bland and the organization, “I’m especially excited about the opportunity to see Troy broaden his influence at the company because of his unique perspective having been raised in this business.” —- Stay up-to-date on Bland Farms news. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Year-round Demand Spurs Growth

(From GPA Anchor Age, 1Q 2012) Georgia might be known as the Peach State, but the peach isn’t the only sweet produce that has endeared Georgia farmers to cooks around the country—and around the world. Each year, Georgia grows and ships some 100,000 tons of Vidalia onions to markets both foreign and domestic. It might come as some surprise, then, to learn that Georgia onion producers also import sweet onions from South America.“Georgia does raise a lot of onions, and it’s the Vidalia onion— a flat onion that is very, very sweet,” said Delbert Bland,owner of Glennville-based Bland Farms.“The only problem is you can only grow it one time a year. ”In Georgia, the sweet onions are grown during the winter and harvested in lateApril. Producers can then store the onions for around five months, making the market for Georgia-raised onions from April through September. But what about those folks who have a hankering for a sweet onion in October, or even later in the year? That’s where South American farm sites come in. Chip Hawkins, inside sales manager for GPA Trade Development, said Bland Farms imported 715 40-foot containers in fiscal year 2010. In 2011, that number was 745. The onion grower said the desire to meet a year-round demand led to his company establishing a farm near the coast of Peru. “Peru is divided by the Andes Mountains and the coastline on the west coast side is basically like desert. It’s a very sandy type dirt,” he said. “We grow in those areas,mostly in Ica, which is a community about four hours of south of Lima. ”While the ground is fertile, farming requires wells to be dug for irrigation. In the same region, other companies grow crops such as asparagus. For Bland Farms,the appeal is a similar soil type to Georgia,with an opposite growing season in theSouthern Hemisphere. The same seed planted in Vidalia is sent to Peru in January. “You plant them real close together in the seedbed, then you transplant them up in May,” Bland said. “When we’re harvesting here, we’re planting there. And when we’re planting here, we’re harvesting there. ”Besides extending the sale season, growing produce in both the northern and southern hemispheres has also helped to reduce the impact of a poor growing season in either region, Bland said. Bland first started importing onions from Peru about 15 years ago. Today,about 52 million to 56 million pounds are imported each year, with most weekly shipments transiting the Panama Canal in refrigerated containers and arriving at the Port of Savannah. Because of marketing restrictions, thePeru-raised produce cannot be sold as“Vidalia” onions, but are instead calledBland Farms sweet onions, or Peru sweet onions. Bland said growing the onions in SouthAmerica has actually supported Georgia and U.S. jobs. “It’s provided an opportunity for the people we employ during the Vidalia season, to do the harvesting and packing,to continue that employment all the way through the winter,” he said. “Directly and indirectly, more than 100 people are involved in the Peru onion deal for us. ”Hawkins said the incoming containers are placed on truck chassis, where they are chilled at power outlet stations. The turn-around from the time containers arrive to the time they’re shipped out is from one to three days, depending on USDA inspection schedules. Bland said he is pleased with the service of the Georgia Ports Authority. “The port authority has been excellent to us because they have been very cordial to work with and the service is excellent,”he said. “Service is a very, very important part of this, because you’re dealing with a commodity that doesn’t need to sit around very much. It needs to keep moving.” This article was written by and published in Georgia Ports Authority Anchor Age – 1Q 2012 and can be found in its entirety on their website.
Not if you are Bland Farms. In the past four years,  has hired and retained a new agronomist every year. According to Omar Cruz, Bland Farms’ Production Director and Development Manager, “A growing farm like ours has to increase the size of the agronomy team to ensure the quality of our sweet onion production. We are excited about the possibilities our newest member affords us.” Monica Del Cid joined sweet onion giant and Glennville, Georgia-basedn late March as an agronomist. In her new position, she will oversee sustainable farming practices and green initiatives as well as assisting in crop supervision. Ms. Del Cid, who was formerly employed by Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, North Carolina as a grower, earned her Baccalaureate of Agricultural Sciences from Earth University in Costa Rica. Of her new position Ms. Del Cid stated, “I’m glad to be working here with such a professional and pleasant team. I know that this is going to be an excellent experience for me to develop professionally and as an individual.”         Välj en axelbandslösstudentklänningar. Det bör också väljas ära strapless tärna studentklänningar. Vår brudtärna axelbandslös studentklänningarval grundas på en lämplig balans mellan skönhet och designprinciper . studentklänningar online  

Upgrades Continue at Bland Farms on Several Fronts

Ever improving and adding to its facilities, Bland Farms LLC has completed more upgrades and has still more that will be done by the time it harvests its first Vidalia onion of the season. “We are upgrading our packinglines,” said Michael Hively, chief financial officer and general manager of the firm. Existing lines are being updated and upgraded with new equipment and software, and six new drying rooms are being constructed. Those new rooms will add 84,000 bushels to the firms drying capacity, bringing the total across all its Vidalia facilities to about 250,000 bushels of drying space. “Over the wintermonths, we completely refrigerated our dock,” so now the firm never breaks the cold chain once product is brought in from the fields. “We process around 40,000 [bushels] a day,” said Delbert Bland, chief executive officer and president, adding, “Our storage capacity is around a million bushels” combined among all the firm’s facilities in Vidalia. In addition to the facility improvements, Bland Farms has also upgraded its staff. Sarah Seebran is the company’s new marketing manager, Adam Blocker is a new salesperson “and we moved Richard Pazderski into” the role of director of sales and marketing, said Mr. Hively. Planting was successful for the firm, with no problems and plenty of H-2A workers. “We were ahead of schedule on planting,” said Mr. Hively. “We finished five days ahead of schedule.” Bland started on Nov. 3 and finished Dec. 17. Vidalia onion acreage is “about the same” as last year with 1,800 acres in production owned by Bland Farms and another 1,300 acres for which it has exclusive contracts. About 200 of the acres are organic Vidalia onions, 200 are red onions and the rest are traditional Vidalia onions. The red onions cannot be marketed as Vidalia onions under the guidelines of the marketing order, but they are sweet onions. “We should have a nice red crop this year,” Mr. Hively said. Mr. Bland added that the firm continues to “tweak” the red onions to further improve their sweetness. Bland Farms is nearly entirely dedicated to the retail market, measuring its sales to that segment at around 96 percent. “We continually try to push more to retail,” said Mr. Pazderski. “That’s our focus.” He noted, however, “we have some great wholesale customers.” Mr. Pazderski said that the firm is refining its marketing message. “We are trying to be more focused in our message and to get our customers to know that if you have a yearround program with us, you know you are getting a consistent and sweet product. As a 52- week shipper, we want our customers to realize the benefit of having the ‘Bland’ label in their stores 52 weeks.” As a part of that effort, the company has developed and is implementing a newmarketing slogan: “When you see Bland Farms … you know it’s sweet.” Along with marketing its onions, Bland Farms’ sales team is now handling the Vidalia Brands product line. Founded by Sandra Bland, Delbert Bland’s wife, the company, which has been acquired by Bland Farms, produces “about 14 different items” such as relishes, sauces and seasonings, said Ms. Seebran. One of the more popular of its products is a blooming onion kit, which contains a recipe, a tool to cut an onion for the recipe, batter mix and a sauce. domain name data “Our customers can do some cross merchandising” with Bland Farms’ onions and the Vidalia Brands product line in the produce department, she said. The products are exclusively made with Vidalia onions year round, using fresh onions in season are chopped and frozen Vidalia onions during the rest of the year. Vidalia Brands products can be purchased from all Bland Farms salespersons, included on the same purchase order and can be shipped with the onions, saving buyers freight costs . “We listened to our customers about what they wanted — what worked and what didn’t,” Ms. Seebran said.
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