Imported garlic looks to be arriving in high volumes.
“This year in garlic supplies we had high volumes from Spain as well as from our Argentinian partners who started to ship out their first containers of the season to us,” says Gaston Marquevich, CEO and founder of Vidalia, GA-based Generation Farms. He notes that supplies are consistent with 2019’s levels.
While Generation sources its garlic from Spain and Argentina, other countries shipping garlic currently are China, Mexico and Peru. Domestically, California is also supplying garlic. At the same time,
Generation has begun trials growing garlic out of its Vidalia, GA-based facility. “With the assistance of our partners in Miami, Argentina and Brazil, we are already planting and hoping to harvest out of our East Coast, US-based operations,” says Marquevich.
Marquevich does note though that while current volumes are high, the quality is of note. “Argentina experienced rain right before harvest and this affected the quality. Thus, we will see less availability of #1s and a larger volume of #2s,” he says.
Eating more garlic in 2021?
However, Generation believes consumption of garlic will grow in the first half of 2021. “With the holiday season upon us, we expect demand will go up. And if we factor in the possible COVID-19 vaccine being approved and distributed worldwide, we anticipate the foodservice industry should also start picking up in demand,” says Brian Stanley, director of sales at Generation Farms.
Purple garlic from Generation Farms.
As many growers and shippers have noted this year, fluctuations in demand has been a challenge this year. “Our biggest challenges thus far have been the ability to stay fluid with the change in demand domestically and internationally,” says Stanley. “We’ve also faced various weather-related issues that have slowed down some of our growing projections.” However, he says the company has worked towards finding solutions to deal with this challenge.
Meanwhile on pricing, given the lower volume of #1s, Stanley anticipates pricing to stay higher compared to last year by about 15-20 percent. The higher volumes in #2s will most likely have an opposite effect and command lower prices, he adds.