FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 24, 2014
Commissioner Black issues statement regarding appeal of Vidalia onion pack date ruling
Commissioner Gary W. Black issued the following statement today.
"We are disappointed in the ruling we received late last week regarding the Vidalia onion pack date. The Attorney General’s office filed an appeal on our behalf today. We believe the packing rule does not in anyway conflict with the provisions of the Vidalia Onion Act. Lost in this discussion is it is the sole responsibility of the Commissioner to protect the integrity of the Vidalia onion trademark, a trademark registered to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Lost in this discussion is that the Commissioner is authorized to establish rules in order to protect this trademark. Lost in this discussion is that the Georgia Department of Agriculture has worked with the Vidalia onion industry for 18 months to establish a pack date and the majority of the growers are in favor of this rule. We look forward to the consideration of these facts during the appeals process."
 O.C.G.A § 2-14-132.1 states “The Commissioner of Agriculture is authorized to take all actions necessary and appropriate to create, register, license, promote, and protect a trademark, for use on or in connection with the sale or promotion of Vidalia onions and products containing Vidalia Onions.”
 O.C.G.A § 2-14-133 states, “The Commissioner is authorized to prescribe rules or regulations which may include, but not necessarily be limited to quality standards, grades, packing, handling, labeling, and marketing practices for all the marketing of onions in this state.”