(UPDATED COVERAGE, 3:57 p.m., May 9) Potato specialist RPE Inc. has strengthened its onion program through a partnership with grower-shipper and repacker Onion Boy Inc.

Effective May 1, Bancroft, Wis.-based RPE is handling sales and marketing duties for Shelby, Ohio-based Onion Boy, which packs onions from Ohio and Vidalia, Ga., and repacks onions from around the country, said Kevin Wright, RPE’s director of retail sales.

“RPE has a strong, national potato program and we know that our customers who are making purchase decisions regarding potatoes are also making purchase decisions for onions,” Wright said. “Onion Boy is a perfect fit for RPE’s strategic goals because of their product quality, geographic locations and visionary approach.”

The partnership with Onion Boy represents RPE’s first venture into the Vidalia deal, Wright said.

Onion Boy has a 900-acre farm in Shelby and packing facilities in Shelby and Glennville, Ga. The company also has grower partners in most major onion growing regions in the U.S. and Canada.

Adding Onion Boy is expected to increase RPE’s onions sales by 30%, Wright said.