France is recognized worldwide for the quality of the garlic plants it produces. French garlic crops are grown in a rich and diversified soil in favourable climatic conditions, and the industry involves a network of skilled professionals covering all areas of garlic plant production, from plant breeding to marketing. Strict production standards have been determined and are rigorously applied by all involved in the industry in order to guarantee garlic plants comply with the highest quality and food safety standards.

All the prerequisites for quality

A favourable soil and climate

The pedoclimatic conditions in France are ideal for producing quality garlic plants in a wide range of varieties.

For garlic :

Over 25 varieties are propagated over 500 ha in 4 regions: south eastern France, south western France, Auvergne and northern France.

For shallot :

Over 10 varieties are propagated over 125 ha in 4 regions: Brittany, Pays de Loire, Auvergne and Rhône Alpes.

Photography of garlic harvest with tractor
© SEMAE / Paul Dutronc
Photo d'une personne qui observe au microscope
© SEMAE / Sébastien Champion

Over 40years of close collaboration between public research institutions and professionals

The INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) has been working in close collaboration with professionals since 1972 in order to cover all aspects pertaining to garlic cultivation: (meristem cultivation, research on diseases: viruses, bacteria, rot…). This collaboration means the industry is always at the cutting edge of progress, and capable of meeting both the requirements of farmers and demands tied to the changing face of the market.

Breeding all types of new garlic and shallot varieties

Breeding is essentially carried out by the INRA as well as a few commercial breeders with the help of numerous partners (farmers, cooperatives, GIE…). Varieties are selected based on precocity, conservation, bulb shape and colour (tolerance to bacteria) etc… Trials are carried out through an organized network in order to better evaluate plant behaviour.

photo serre de sélection de variétés d'échalotes
© SEMAE / Karine Charlet
Photography of field with insect net
© SEMAE / Emeline Raffin

Strict methods applied to plant production

In order to obtain the best plants quality, professionals have implemented a strict production scheme. First generation plants are propagated under insect-proof tunnels in order to prevent viral contamination and are disinfected by thermotherapy against nematodes.

Closely monitored production

Throughout their growth cycle, plants are closely monitored by SOC-approved technicians (SOC: Official Inspection and Certification Body). Samples are tested and checked for nematodes. Mandatory laboratory tests are on the increase as quality standards grow stricter. For instance, French certification standards are stricter than those established by European Directives.

Photo de deux inspecteur dans un champ d'ail
© SEMAE / Paul Dutronc
Photography of garlic storage
© SEMAE / Paul Dutronc

Producer farms that are equipped with high-end technology

Plant propagation is performed on farms by highly skilled and specialized farmers. This work is carried out by a hundred farmers and cultivated acreage is approx 500 ha. This task requires highly skilled workers and appropriate equipment for production and conservation.

Satisfied customers

Readily identified by a blue label (certificate or label delivered by the SOC), farmers and amateur gardeners can purchase garlic plants that meet SOC certification standards.