In 1978 Patrick and Gaye Murphy made a decision to grow larger amounts of garlic to meet New Zealand's demand for quality garlic. The worthy contributions of family, friends, employees, Marlburians and others to the iconic Marlborough crop for over 30 years, have made Marlborough Garlic what it is today. The Murphy’s got involved in the current location in the 1980s when it was a co-operative. At that time, there were 20 other families in the province growing garlic on a commercial scale. Now, there are only two. While Marlborough Garlic produce around the same quantity as they did in the 80s and 90s, there have been significant changes in the market. The core of our business focused on exporting premium product to Australia, second grade garlic to Fiji, and the leftover for New Zealand. At the same time, the advent of grapes occurred in Marlborough. This resulted in a squeeze on resources for the garlic industry, so to some extent Marlborough Garlic is the last man standing.
The advent of China entering the global garlic market in the early 90s meant the commoditisation of garlic, which effectively dissolved New Zealand’s production of garlic. Of the 20 families producing garlic in Marlborough in the early 90s there was about 2000 tonnes produced – a lot more than now. We discontinued exports to Fiji which is now completely Chinese garlic. Australia, which was previously a big performer for Marlborough Garlic, is now also predominantly made up of Chinese garlic. However, we realised New Zealanders were happy to pay a few cents more for a product that came out of their backyard. That lead to us focusing solely on New Zealand. And in the last twenty years, New Zealanders are still happy to buy our garlic over imported garlic. Marlborough Garlic’s key philosophy is to supply the domestic market throughout the year with in-season premium New Zealand garlic and shallots. Marlborough Garlic Limited grows all of the product that it packs and processes. Quite simply, it is to be New Zealand’s Premier Garlic and Shallot Company, offering a sustainable supply of quality and superior tasting products to New Zealanders and abroad. In a few words, we value: innovation, experience, expertise, integrity, sustainability of supply and a customer focus. https://www.garlic.co.nz