The Spring garlic planting has already been completed, and in a few days, the purple garlic planting will also be completed. It is hoped that this year's weather conditions will be favorable for a crop that has been generating losses for several seasons, as recalled by Gustavo Revelles, CEO of the cooperative Granada Los Fresnos.
“At Los Fresnos, we have been specialists in green asparagus for 30 years, but in 2020 we started working with garlic at the request of our partners, since they also produced it. Since then, our production has grown to 800,000 kilos cultivated on 55-60 hectares.”
“However, it is true that we've had some difficult harvests in recent years; sometimes due to the impact of rains during the harvesting period; in 2022, due to the consequences of heat waves, and this year the drought has caused a reduction of sizes and volumes. Here, in the Vega de Granada, we are going to have 30-40% less production than expected; a notable drop, but less than that of other producing areas which have had a really difficult campaign,” says Gustavo.
"The prices of the 2023 production marketed so far are high, and we hope that they'll begin to stabilize, because such high prices are not good for anyone, even though they will fortunately make up for the lack of kilos in some cases."
"Right now, depending on the size and variety, prices at the warehouse range between 3 and 6 Euro per kilo, and growers are receiving between 2 and 3.50 Euro. These are very good prices, compared with other campaigns, in which the price per kilo at origin ranged between 60 and 1.20 Euro, always depending on the size and variety. It is true that, since the beginning of November, the demand has decreased, perhaps due to these prices, but in the end, garlic is a very basic and irreplaceable product, and we hope that the demand will recover,” said Gustavo.
As the marketing campaign progresses, garlic growers – like asparagus producers – continue to wait for rain and cold, which will be necessary to ensure that the next campaign can finally be more positive for both products. “Right now, we are completing the planting of purple garlic for the 2024 harvest. Our growers have tried to prevent losses in the acreage, but some farms have not been able to plant because they did not have enough water, or were not sure of having enough to finish the year, so we can only hope that it rains, because if not, we'll get an even more complex scenario than this year.”
“We believe not only that there will be a shortage of garlic until then, but also that we will even need to import it.”