Branding Agricultural Products
Question: Can Vidalia onions be grown in Iowa? Answer: No, Vidalia onions can only be grown in a legislated geographical region in the state of Georgia, and the producers who grow these famous sweet onions have a federal marketing order that says so. An analysis of how a trademark and a federal marketing order can be part of a strategy to increase the economic value of agricultural products is available from the Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC) at Iowa State University. Vidalia onions represent a proven success story in using effective marketing, legislation, and research to develop a niche market for an agricultural product. By protecting a product's name, quality, and image through state ownership of the trademark, producers can protect their market from becoming oversupplied, thus creating higher value throughout the marketing chain. The paper, "Why Can't Vidalia Onions Be Grown in Iowa? Developing a Branded Agricultural Product." Contact Roxanne Clemens, MATRIC, (515) 294-8842, or Sandy Clarke, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, (515) 294-6257.
(Released September 2002)