Australia’s peak industry body for garlic has called for the formation of a national co-operative to help its growers reclaim top billing in their domestic market.
Chinese imports have saturated the Australian market over the last decade, halving the local industry’s value from A$7m in 2005 to A$3.5m in 2012, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
However, Australian Garlic Industry Association chairman Leon Trembath told the ABC the tide was turning. Trembath said Australian consumers were being exposed to fresh, locally grown garlic at farmers markets and through supermarket promotions, raising questions about the quality of cheaper Chinese imports.
He believed the time was right for the formation of a national growers network, capable of supplying the domestic market year round.
“We're trying to get our garlic growers together to form a co-operative like the onion board, and sown around Australia,” Trembath told the ABC.
"If one grows out a season... then someone else picks it up, then there's a better guarantee you'll get more fresh garlic throughout Australia for the seasons.”