Garland Food is primed for a strong finish to 2019

For more than 25 years, Garland Food has enjoyed a stellar reputation for providing the Southeast, Northeast and Puerto Rico with the finest garlic products available. Today, the company supplies its customers with garlic that is grown all over the world.

Juan Pablo Lozano, a business associated partner of the Miami-based company, said Garland works with growers in Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and China, and that its product offerings include fresh garlic, peeled garlic, garlic paste, ginger paste, minced garlic and black garlic for retail and food- service.peeled-garlic-5-LB-2

A key advantage Lozano noted is that Garland peels garlic at its plants in Miami, and it’s one of the few companies that provides peeled garlic from Spain, Argentina, Peru, Mexico and sometimes California.

“Five, six years back, we were the first ones to bring peeled garlic from Spain — nobody did that before,” he said. “Now there are at least 10 shippers or more from Spain that ship peeled garlic to the States from Spain. We were the first ones who brought garlic from Egypt to the states.”

Another key to the company’s success is its ability to provide fresh garlic 12 months a year. At this time of year, Mexico and Spain are shipping; then Argentina will provide garlic starting in October and into April, and Chile and Mexico will supply the rest of the year.

“Year-round we have the freshest crops in the world,” Lozano said. “And we bring fresh and peeled garlic. We peel here and we repack here, we do five-pack and we do three-pack, and year-round we provide garlic from China. Some people prefer Chinese garlic for many reasons, so you have to have whatever the customers ask for.”

When asked what has made Garland so successful for a quarter of a century, Lozano gave a direct answer.

“Quality and service, and of course price,” he said. “We have a big quantity of customers in foodservice, wholesale market and retail. I have customers I’ve been working with for more than 25 years. Why? Because we take care of the customers and customers take care of us as well. When the market is high, we don’t kill them and when the market is low, they don’t kill us. We take care of them so that they feel good about having the best quality possible at the right price. And we deliver what we promise.”

Garland also offers other items, such as shallots and ginger from different parts of the world, and it is committed to supplying clients with high-quality foods all year round.

And the second half of 2019 is looking promising.

“Last year, we had a great first half of the year and a tough second part of the year, because the prices at the first half were very good, and prices in the second half of the year were very low,” Lozano said. “This year the first part of the year, the prices were cheap and we were moving a lot of volume; we increased the amount of sales but not the amount of money.”

Second-half prices are looking more promising because garlic prices in China are higher.

“Basically, Chinese garlic is what puts the base on the prices,” Lozano said. “So if Chinese garlic is high, all the other garlics go higher.”

When it comes to challenges, Lozano said there are too many players in the business, and that some players are irresponsible.

“They don’t know how to go about business, they just decide to open a business and they bring in garlic from anywhere,” he said.

For example, Spain’s recent crops have been huge, and more irresponsible dealers set prices too low so that they can unload their supply.

Garland continues to grow. In recent years, it has diversified its product offerings to include garlic paste, garlic with cilantro, garlic with herbs, garlic-ginger paste and garlic powder.

“We have to create new things every day,” Lozano said. “If you want to sell to a chain store, the buyer at the store will say, ‘I have garlic.’ So you have to show them something new that they don’t have because there are three of four different vendors of garlic, they don’t need another one. They’re not open to you unless you have something new so you create the opportunity to open the doors.”

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