Court: Georgia official can set Vidalia onion packing date

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

ATLANTA (AP) — An appeals court has ruled that Georgia's agriculture commissioner can set a packing date for the state's famed Vidalia onions.

The court made the ruling in the dispute last Tuesday.

The state agriculture commissioner in August 2013 established a rule setting a packing date that he said was meant to keep immature Vidalia onions off store shelves to protect a $150 million brand.

A major grower challenged the rule, saying he should be able to pack onions when he thinks they're ready.

A judge in March 2014 struck down the rule, and the state appealed that decision. The Georgia Court of Appeals has now ruled in favor of the state, saying the commissioner does have the authority to set a packing date.