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Shuman Farms RealSweet on Southern Exposure

By
Keith Loria

Based in Reidsville, GA, the heart of the Vidalia® growing region, Shuman Farms is a year-round grower, packer, and shipper of premium sweet onions from Vidalia, Peru, and Texas.

With the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure show coming soon, many at the company are preparing for exhibiting both in-person and virtual.

“While nothing can quite compare to being on the show floor in person, we understand the need for a virtual option this year,” said John Shuman, president and CEO of Shuman Farms. “Having the virtual booth, in addition to our booth on the show floor, will allow us to reach retailers that may not be traveling yet. We are thankful to the Southeast Produce Council for providing both options so that we may connect with as many people as possible.” 

shuman“Giving back is one of Shuman Farms’ foundational pillars and so last year’s theme, Make a Difference, was very important to us,” Shuman said. “Several of our programs, including Healthy Family Project, are designed to raise funds in the communities where our products are sold. Both our Shuman Farms and Healthy Family Project teams participated in the breakout sessions including the one hosted by Joe Waters on Selfish Giving. In addition, the Healthy Family Project team hosted its annual reception, celebrating more than $7 million in charitable donations since the organization’s inception 20 years ago.”

This year, Shuman Farms will be at booth No. 1301, while Healthy Family Project’s booth number is 911.

“We’re looking forward to being together again at Southern Exposure,” Shuman said. “Last year’s event was the last time we were all together as an industry and so, a little more than a year later, it will be good to see everyone.”

Those that stop by the Shuman Farms’ booth will learn about this year’s Vidalia crop and the company’s plans for the upcoming season, which will focus on the excitement of Vidalia season.

“Consumers wait eight months for RealSweet Vidalia onions to hit store shelves and when they do, they bring a lot of excitement to the produce department,” Shuman said. “Starting in May, we will have several promotions, both in-store and online, to match the excitement and consumer demand for Vidalia onions.”

In addition to its in-store programs and events, in June, Shuman Farms will be offering RealSweet Vidalia onions in special bags supporting Feeding America.

“In the U.S., one in six children face hunger every day,” Shuman said. “We know that summer break, without school breakfasts and lunches, is a particular vulnerable time for those in need. Through the support of our Feeding America bags, Shuman Farms will provide 100,000 meals to families and will continue to work with the Healthy Family Project to spread awareness about childhood hunger.”

Shuman, who was recently named the 2020 Vidalia Grower of the Year, is looking forward to talking to retailers about this year’s crop and the innovative marketing programs the company has ready for the season. 

“While we are scaling back slightly the team we are bringing this year, we will have several team members at our booth ready to chat,” Shuman said. “Our team staying back in Reidsville will be active on the Virtual Garden, monitoring our booth, and connecting with those in the digital space.”

He noted those that will be there in person are looking forward to attending all of the sessions at Southern Exposure and connecting with those in attendance.

“Our Healthy Family Project team will be hosting an outdoor, socially-distanced, cocktail hour on Wednesday night, thanking our retailers and sponsors for their continued support,” Shuman said. “Southern Exposure is a very important show for us as it gives us a great opportunity to network and chat with our current customers and friends in the produce industry right before our biggest time of the year — Vidalia season.

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