According to the Association of Producers, Packers and Exporters of Garlic, Onions and Related Products of Mendoza (Asocamen), the Mercosur-EU agreement could allow them to double their garlic exports.
Ariel Zucarelli, the president of Asocamen, said: "We know the agreement’s process is slow, but it will enter into force in four years for the horticultural sector and the outlook is that it will eliminate the 19 thousand-ton export quota to Europe, so there would be no tariffs or limits for our products. The negative part is that Spain, which currently sells a lot of garlic to Brazil, paying a 35% tariff for their product, would pay a zero tariff after the agreement."
Zucarelli highlighted the concrete actions that the State had to perform for the garlic sector to be competitive. "There is a part that we have to do, but the State has to do a lot, such as decreasing taxes. In addition, there is much to do in mechanization, irrigation, improvement of packing sheds; there are investments but they’re not enough, we need the support of the State.”
France is the main importer of South American garlic. "We have lost markets like England or Holland. There is an important growth potential for Europe, and we could double the number of exports."
“In principle, a market opening is very good for exports, provided that we are competitive in price and quality. If so, we have many possibilities to grow; if not, we won’t win. We’ll lose."