VIDALIA, Ga. — Stanley Farms is expanding its production of fresh-cut Vidalia onions.

The grower-shipper is also entering the sweet potato deal and considering growing other items.

Since 1999, Stanley Farms has been cutting, dicing, and processing No. 2 Vidalia onions into sauces, dressings and other condiments through its Vidalia Valley processed division.

From its processing facility, Stanley Farms slices and dices Vidalias and other sweet onions and produces fresh-cut and whole peeled onions.

Stanley Farms entered fresh-cut sweet onion production in 2008.

After removing the onion’s waste, which accounts for up to 40% of the onion, Stanley Farms ships the fresh whole peeled product to foodservice customers who do their own dicing.

“We have become so efficient now in the peeling of the onions, to where we have doubled our capacity,” said Brian Stanley, sales manager.

“When people need processed onions, whole peeled or fresh-cut, we want them to think of us on the East Coast. With the high cost of fuel, we have a better delivered price and feel we can compete with a processed onion.”

Stanley Farms sells a variety of bags of diced and sliced onions, from 5-pound to 45-pound packs. It’s also expanded its frozen onion production, selling 45-pound bags as well as 1,500-pound totes.

Stanley said interest in fresh-cut sweet onions is increasing.

“The restaurants used to buy any type of onion,” he said. “Now they’re demanding more sweet onions in their salad bars and recipes.”

Stanley Farms expects to ship 500,000 40-pound equivalent cartons or 500 loads of onions, Brian Stanley said.