(UPDATED COVERAGE, Dec. 5) Utah Onions Inc. is again offering Vidalia sweet onions through a new agreement with Gerrald’s Farms Inc.
The partnership expands Syracuse, Utah-based Utah Onions’ sweet onion offerings from August through January (from the west) to April to January (with Vidalias), said Richard Pazderski, director of business development, and is a step toward a year-round sweet onion program. The onions will carry the Gerrald’s Vidalia Sweets brand.
“We see this as a strategic move for our growing sweet onion program,” Pazderski said. “This gives us more year-round visibility and availablity for our customers with sweet onions. Terry (Gerrald) will bring his vast knowledge of Vidalia growing and packing from his technologically-advanced state-of-the-art facility.”
Pazderski said he expects the deal to ship 350,000 40-pound units from Gerrald’s 400 acres and boost Utah Onions’ offerings to up to 4 million equivalent units annually. Gerrald’s Farms has a storage capacity of 180,000 bushels.
Utah Onions and Statesboro, Ga.-based Gerrald’s began operations in 1978 and during the early 1980s. Jerry Hartley, a previous Utah Onions owner, marketed Gerrald’s Farms onions for more than 25 years, Pazderski said. The company has also developed a western sweet, the Columbia River Sweet, but in recent years Utah Onions has primarily focused on red, white and yellow storage variety onions.
Pazderski, who joined Utah Onions in May after working for nine years as a director of sales for Glennville, Ga.-based Bland Farms LLC, said Gerrald’s will also grow and pack red and white onions from Georgia for Utah Onions, giving eastern U.S. customers unique product offerings as well as freight savings relative to competing western offerings on those varieties and the Vidalias. They can can also be mixed with Vidalia sweet onions shipping from southeast Georgia, Pazderski said.