Bland Farms LLC, headquartered in Glennville, GA, began shipments of its latest sweet onion offering, the trademarked “EverMild,” this past October. Managing Member Delbert Bland said that the onion is being marketed as a joint venture with River Point Farms in Hermiston, OR. Although limited volume was available to select retailers last season, Mr. Bland said that the company expects to move approximately 4,000 40-pound-equivalent boxes by the time the season concludes in March.
Mr. Bland said that the fairly large globe-shaped long-day yellow onion is known for its unique qualities. “The onion has a tendency to maintain its sweetness, even in storage,” he told The Produce News Nov. 29. “It’s a very versatile onion.” According to Mr. Bland, the “EverMild” has good eating and cooking characteristics.
The “EverMild” was bred in the United States. The variety contains lower levels of lachrymatory factor, which is an indicator of onion pungency and distinct flavor. “It’s an onion known for a low-tear factor,” Mr. Bland added. Although the onion’s texture is similar to other varieties grown in the western Unites States, Mr. Bland said it is not hot.
Asked about customer response to the “EverMild,” Mr. Bland said, “Reaction from customers has been good.” He expects that acreage planted to the variety will increase in the coming years.
With a year-round sweet onion program firmly in place, Bland Farms is also marketing Peruvian sweet onions. “We have a flat onion throughout the year. We’re very much into the Peruvian onion season now,” he said. “It’s going well. When Vidalias run out, we get these in to keep our customers happy.”
Quality for Peruvian sweets has been good. Sizing has been 40 percent to medium, 40 percent to jumbo and 20 percent to colossal.
“The sweet onion category is growing every year,” Mr. Bland said, adding that consumers are using them in a variety of ways as an essential cooking ingredient.
On another front, David Beecher joined the company as Bland Farms’ director of operations. Mr. Beecher previously worked for Rosemont Farms and IFCO Systems. “We are very excited about having him on our team,” Mr. Bland said.