The Swiss acreage planted with garlic has increased steadily in recent years and now amounts to about 50 ha. Grower Pirmin Bobst from Oensingen started cultivating garlic in 2013. Currently, he cultivates an area of about 1 ha and he is the only one in northwestern Switzerland that grows the exotic plant on a large scale. "Nowadays you only have a chance on the market with niche products," he tells the Zofinger Tagblatt.
"It's very difficult to get into the market; I'm alone with this garlic in the area," says Bobst. On the one hand, it is difficult to resist the low prices of imported goods. In terms of taste, Swiss garlic, for example, differs from Spanish garlic. For climatic reasons, the native plant does not reach the same sharpness. Furthermore, Bobst continues, the markets in the Seeland and in western Switzerland are already being supplied by garlic farmers from the respective regions.
Finding a matching niche
Despite all the difficulties he finds standing in his path, the grower seems to have found his niche: The first harvest of this year is already available today in the farm shop, at a regional Spar outlet and at the weekly market. Bobst is also talking to a large supermarket in Basel. What will happen next year, will depend on this year's sales.
For more information:
Bobst, Pirmin Landwirtschaft
4702 Oensingen, Schweiz
Tel.: +41 62 396 12 34