A year ago Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black put himself in charge of the picking release date for Vidalia Onions.
Traditionally the date was picked locally based on the condition of the crop. Black said he was responding to concerns Vidalia Onions were losing their flavor and distinctive characteristics.
Delbert bland, owner of Bland farms sued Black and his office claiming the commissioner did not have the authority to change.
last week Judge Cynthia Wright, of the Superior Court of Fulton County, ruled state law gives Black the authority to determine packing rules, such as the materials or
containers that can be used in packaging, but not decide when the onions can be shipped.
Bland said the ruling means “Mother Nature will decide when our Vidalia Sweet Onions are ready to ship, not an arbitrary date on the calendar.”
Bland’s lawyer, Mike Bowers, later said Bland Farms “is extremely pleased with the order.”