As the world defends itself against the Corona virus, some of the fruit and vegetable trade has slowed down. This has left Egypt with an opportunity to meet the rising demand of garlic in both Europe and Middle East.
The garlic season in Egypt came with doubts from the very start, says Ahmed Adel, managing director for Global Veg Egy. “At the beginning of the spring garlic season we were worried we'd have another season like last year. It actually wasn’t so good for the green garlic season either. However the season did a 180 degree turn when we started our dry garlic season. Still, the green garlic season wasn’t as good as usual.”
At the moment, Adel has noticed demand increasing from various markets, which could have to do with the Corona virus: “There has been a lot of interest from Europe since we started the spring garlic season. A new trend is the Arabian countries being a serious market for out green garlic, normally these countries would only import dry garlic. The reason demand might have gone up so much, is due to the Corona virus starting in China, thus leading to a lesser supply of Chinese garlic. When traders were looking for garlic from another origin, it led them to the Egyptian garlic.”
Because of this newly arisen demand, a lot of potential importers are visiting Egypt, to check out the operation. “At the moment we’re getting a lot of visits from different nationalities, asking us to set up a contract with dry garlic especially. Our markets are expanding regardless, after new markets like Brazil who opened up to Egyptian garlic last year, and two years before that we entered the Taiwanese market. Once these new clients reach out to us, we always ask them to come and stay with us while we’re doing their first containers. We like our customers to see everything themselves, so they’re assured of the produce they will receive. We show them our certifications, like Global Gap, Grasp and Sedex (smeta) to give them confidence we can meet the European customers’ demands,” Adel concludes.