Trade War Woes May Be a Boon for California Garlic Farmers

Gilroy could benefit from a stinky situation.

While many American farmers wring their hands over the financial implication of tariff hikes on goods exported to China, the garlic crowd in Gilroy, Salinas, Modesto and Fresno may see a unique opportunity for profit.

Quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle story, local farmers believe less competition from Chinese imports could boost production and sales for California grown crops. After struggling for years against a cheaper, less expensive foreign product, 25% tariffs on incoming Chinese garlic could make a big difference. But, according to The Chronicle, many local buyers have remained loyal to the homegrown stuff for some time.

“The Stinking Rose, a San Francisco restaurant known for its garlic-centric dishes, buys only California garlic because of its consistency and reliability for the restaurant’s dishes, according to restaurant co-owner Dante Serafini. The restaurant orders more than 50 tons of garlic per year to supply its San Francisco and Beverly Hills locations with garlic.

“’California garlic is the most consistent,’ Serafini said. ‘It’s got the taste that we could predict the most of any, because when you’re cooking and you’re using this much garlic … you want it to taste the same all the time.’”

Read more about California’s garlic trade here.

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