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Peru pushing harder on supplying North America with garlic?

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-10-17  Views: 17
Core Tip: As Argentina is readying for its export season of garlic, Peru seems to be increasing their push to supply North America with garlic.
As Argentina is readying for its export season of garlic, Peru seems to be increasing their push to supply North America with garlic.

“I’ve started to receive several direct contact inquiries from organic Peruvian garlic suppliers and producers, says Sarah Barber of Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo, a Pescadero, Ca.-based company that imports from Argentina and grows garlic in Mexico as well. “We’re not sourcing organic garlic from Peru but could be interesting for the future. We strongly vet our supply chain and hand pick our growers.”

Barber adds that Del Cabo is working with an Argentinian garlic supplier who focuses on high quality, is family-owned and has been producing in Mendoza, Argentina for two generations. “They just have a phenomenal quality,” she says. “We’ve worked with them for the last several years for the December - March organic Argentinian garlic window.”

Solid Argentinian supply
With Jacobs/Del Cabo’s garlic import season starting in December, Barber believes supplies will be good for organic garlic from the country, which supplies until April. “We’re finalizing things and negotiating FOB pricing—we’ll see if sales will be as high as they’ve been the last couple of years. They may not be. We don’t anticipate pricing to be as high for the 2018 garlic season. But we do anticipate the organic garlic pricing to be stable.”

She’s also referring to the unusual activity in the garlic market over the past two years in particular. “There was a really strong garlic market the last two years. We saw some big market spikes and really high pricing,” she says. “It will likely depend on how the supply out of China looks. As far as volume, China sets the tone and due to the climate, I believe they were short. The market really spiked two years ago and then we felt it until about March or so this past year.”

Varietal garlic becoming popular
Meanwhile the varietals trend has also seemed to hit garlic—Barber says she sees an interest in the purple organic garlic from consumers. “It’s gaining popularity—we’re used to seeing white garlic and purple has a slightly different flavour and it’s also something different to have in the kitchen,” she says.

Except in garlic varietals, it seems to be harkening back to varietals of the past rather than developing new ones. That’s what Barber sees with its heirloom garlic that it grows in Mexico and is available in April-May out of Muelge, Baja California (Del Cabo’s heirloom garlic window). “The heirloom is a smaller cloved, purple variety with a very strong flavour,” she says. “This variety is one that the Spanish missionaries brought. We’re incredibly proud to still have it in production and have a market for it. Its supply however is limited.”

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