Garlic (Allium sativum) is a member of the Amaryllis (lily) family and is related to onions, shallots, chives, and leeks. Garlic is a major ingredient in most cultures and therefore is grown throughout the world. Globally, China is by far the largest producer of garlic producing $2.6 billion or 72.8% of the world’s total in 2016. The United States ranked tenth in total garlic production in the world at only 0.05%.
The majority of domestic fresh and processed garlic production is concentrated in California. Three California counties provide the majority of this production- Fresno, Kern, and Monterey, but the city of Gilroy in Santa Clara County is billed as “The Garlic Capital of the World.” A significant volume of California’s fresh-market garlic is shipped from Gilroy. The United States is also the world’s largest importer of fresh garlic, becoming a net importer of garlic. China accounted for the majority of total U.S. garlic imports, while other top importers of garlic to the United States were Argentina and Mexico.