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Vidalia Sweet Produce thrives thanks to family

By
Keith Loria

For 15 years, Vidalia Sweet Produce has earned a strong reputation as a trusted woman-owned farming corporation that specializes in the production, shipping and sales of Vidalia sweet onions, red and yellow onions.

The company is the only woman-owned production, sales, and shipping facility in the Vidalia region, certified as a WBE (Women Business Enterprise) by the National Women’s Business owners Council.  

Vidalia Sweet Produce is run by the leaders of Collins Family Farms, which have 44 years experience in growing onions, also deals in watermelons and Vidalia sweet potatoes, but sweet onions make up 75 percent of the company’s total sales. 

Collins Family Farms started with 10 acres in 1980 and has slowly grown into several hundred acres over the years. Vidalia Sweet Produce is the sales and marketing arm of the operation.

“In 2022, Collins Family Farms built a new and modernized grading, packing and shipping facility in Cobbtown, GA., which includes modern drying rooms along with new cold storage rooms and refrigerated shipping room,” said Tina Collins, CEO of Vidalia Sweet Produce. 

Last year, John Strickland, son-in-law in the Collins family, joined the company as vice president of sales and marketing. 

“John is very dedicated and has been successful in increasing sales in the company,” Collins said. “Since Collins Family Farms is a family-owned-and-operated business, commitment to family and business is the key to success for our operation.”

Vidalia Sweet Produce offers its customers a full range of Vidalia onion package sizes, including consumer friendly two-, three-, four-, five- and 10-pound bags. 

Business has been going strong in the sweet onion category with Collins noting that demand grows year after year. 

“We at Collins Family Farms believe it will continue to strengthen due to the many health benefits from sweet onions,” she said.

Though the 2023 crop is shaping up to be a smaller volume crop than 2022 due to bitter freeze that occurred in the whole Vidalia industry this winter, there are still signs of optimism around the industry as a whole.

“The quality of the crop looks excellent and there should be promotable supply for the spring and early summer,” Collins said. “Quality is an important strength of Collins Family Farms. All shipments are USDA inspected prior to shipping, but are first and foremost passed and approved by our QC personnel.”

Keith Loria

Keith Loria

About Keith Loria  |  email

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.

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