This was reported in the General Assembly of the National Garlic Board, which met in Las Pedroñeras (Cuenca). The area devoted to this crop will decrease due to the drought affecting Andalusia and the issues to access water in Castilla-La Mancha. The decrease doesn't bode well for the sector, which last year experienced a nearly 30% production decline over 2021.
Meanwhile, production costs increased by about 30%. To make things worse, producers were unable to increase prices, as the distribution sector imported garlic from wherever it had to so they could boast of its low prices, stated Julio Bacete, the president of the National Garlic Board.
Chinese garlic imports
The National Garlic Board also made public the results of the organization's report on alleged irregularities in EU imports of frozen garlic from China.
“This garlic is not really frozen, it's refrigerated. It is transported at temperatures of -4 ºC, when the frozen product must be transported at temperatures of -20 ºC,” Bacete stated. These products belong to different tariff classifications, so this alleged fraudulent garlic is introduced out of quota and with very low tariffs, thus harming Spanish garlic producers, he added.
An important sector in Spain
In 2022, Spain had more than 29,000 hectares devoted to garlic cultivation which produced 286,694 tons of garlic. The main garlic production area in Spain is Castilla La Mancha, which according to 2021 data has about 20,860 cultivated hectares, followed by Andalusia with 5,120 hectares, Castilla y Leon with 1,820 hectares, Madrid with 890 hectares, and Extremadura with approximately 530 hectares. Each year, the cutting and harvesting of garlic in the field alone generate almost 1,000,000 wages in Spain.