The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival took place over the weekend celebrating the UK’s most treasured pungent vegetable and one of the most popular culinary ingredients in the world.
The garlic at the festival was grown and provided by multi award-winning The Garlic Farm – a third-generation farming business based in Newchurch that is finding success across Europe thanks to its innovative range of over 60 garlic-based food and drink products.
The company has secured over £20,000 worth of sales to Germany, Sweden and Denmark over the last year with this figure estimated to grow by at least 25% over the next two.
The Garlic Farm’s most popular export product is ‘Vampire Slayer Seriously Hot Sauce’ which is flying off the shelves in the German and Swedish markets.
Barnes Edwards, Managing Director at The Garlic Farm said: “In all cases, demand and our local reputation has driven our exports as we have been approached by customers directly resulting in a steady and sustainable compound growth in our export markets.
“It is great to be able to represent the UK abroad. We are very proud of what we do, and it is great to get this validated by being selected by international buyers. If we can find success overseas so can other UK food producers.”
The business’s range of fresh products include white garlic bulbs, garlic grappes, garlic plaits, smoked garlic, black garlic and seasonal garlic products such as elephant garlic, green garlic and scapes, with the farm’s ambient collection including everything from garlic sauces, chutneys and butters to garlic beer, vodka and ice cream.
All recipes are developed by the farm to make the most of its garlic’s spectrum of flavours and then made by various specialist producers across the south of England.
Christina Gotzl, Founder of North Parade in Sweden said: “I have been importing from The Garlic Farm since 2014 because of the high-quality ingredients and innovative flavour combinations. Their condiments and relishes find a natural space in the Swedish larder, enhancing Swedish staples, with one of my best sellers being Vampire Slayer which is loved by heat seeking consumers. The Garlic Farm provide continuity, quality and great taste which is why I only ever import from small UK producers.
“I would say to producers that are considering exporting – don’t be afraid. I mean most of us importers have our own deals regarding transport and logistics so basically there’s no difference in selling to Sweden as it would be selling to Manchester. Also, working with DIT has been invaluable as they are supportive and always have time for us, so I presume they’ve got time for exporters as well!”
The Garlic Farm has 55-70 employees in the Isle of Wight which fluctuates depending on the time of year and has delivered double digit revenue growth for the past five consecutive years, with exporting accounting for an increasing percentage of this total.
Ben Raby, Head of Region – South East at DIT said: “We’re delighted to see The Garlic Farm finding success in the European market and showcasing South East Food and Drink on the global stage.
“DIT has a network of expert International Trade Advisers on hand to help more producers respond to this demand and navigate the entire exporting process. Many businesses have already benefited from the service that we offer, and we aim to inspire many more to explore new markets overseas.”