Be sure to search out the Netflix series “Rotten,” and episode 3, “Garlic Breath,” much of which was filmed at the farm in April 2017.
You have reached the digital home of Stanley Crawford, aka Stan. I have lived in Dixon, NM since 1969 with my Australian wife RoseMary, where we built our own adobe house. Our son Adam/Atom was born in Ireland, and Kate/Katya down the road in Embudo. We have farmed since the early 1970s, specializing in garlic and selling at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market in the Railyard on Saturdays from late spring until November or December, and on Tuesdays during the peak growing season.
In 2007 we added on to my first writing studio and converted it into THE TOWER GUEST HOUSE. I arrived in New Mexico as a NOVELIST and currently have seven novels in print and three works of nonfiction about living in Northern New Mexico. Two more novels will be published in 2016.
Important News about Garlic Farming UPDATE
(click to read)
Dear Fellow Growers, Patrons, and Friends of Local Small-Scale Agriculture:
As many of you know we have grown and sold garlic in Northern New Mexico for many years, which gives us legal standing to file a Request for Administrative Review with the U. S. Department of Commerce. The object of this review is to question the zero anti-dumping duty rate obtained by Zhengzhou Harmoni Spice Company, the largest importer of fresh garlic from China. At 19,233,000 tons a year (2013), China is now overwhelmingly the largest producer of garlic in the world, dwarfing U. S. production of 175,455 tons a year. Harmoni Spice has paid no anti-dumping duty on garlic, which can run as high as $4.71 a kilo, for the past ten years by means of manipulating a loophole in Commerce regulations. The very low prices of their principal American distributor, Christopher Ranch of Gilroy CA, have enabled them to undercut all U. S. producers, large and small, to the point that Harmoni garlic imports now overwhelmingly dominate the American market.
By requiring Harmoni to pay the anti-dumping duty required of other growers the effect would be two fold: to raise the price of imported garlic, to the benefit of U. S. producers, and to level the playing field for other Chinese importers.
The response of Harmoni to our request with the U. S. Department of Commerce has been a flood of legal filings (some 2000 pages and counting) against us and the trade attorney who is representing us, Ted Hume of Taos, charging coercion, racketeering, forgery, and a host of other unfounded allegations. The bulk of their suit filed against us in U. S. District Court has been dismissed as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP), which is against the law in California. Subsequently, racketeering charges have also been dismissed.
The U. S. Department of Commerce eventually recognized our standing as a garlic producer, whereupon Harmoni was to have submitted mandatory documentation. They walked away from this requirement, continuing to protest our participation, and in December of 2016 Commerce issued a preliminary ruling against them, citing their failure to cooperate with the mandatory review process, whereupon Customs and Border Protection issued an enhanced bonding requirement, potentially subjecting Harmoni to $200 million in duties. Harmoni has sued the U. S. Government in the Court of International trade, which rejected the request for a temporary restraining order against Customs, essentially leaving the enhanced bonding requirement in place.
According to attorney Ted Hume, this massive onslaught against us is unprecedented in his forty years’ experience with international trade law. The issue may well become a national landmark case in which a small producer successfully challenges an industry that has obtained a near-monopoly of imports through gaming the system.
There is of course something unseemly about a near-monopoly garlic importer and its high-profile international aw firm (GDLSK, New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Hong Kong) harassing and attempting to intimidate small New Mexico garlic growers into withdrawing their Request for Administrative Review with the Department of Commerce. In fact their efforts have been successful with a former ally of ours, a garlic grower in a neighboring village, who is now being compensated by GDLSK to file letters on behalf of Harmoni against us—and in effect against other U.S. garlic growers, small and large.
For a more detailed treatment of the issue, see Henry Meier’s article, “Competitors Raise Stink Over Garlic / AGRICULTURE: Top importer could lose tariff-free advantage,” in the Los Angeles Business Journal, April 11, 2016.
••• view LA Business Journal article •••
THE CHINESE GARLIC SAGA, CONTINUED
By October 2018, the Chinese garlic saga will be entering its fifth year. It has been playing out over six legal forums: the U. S. Department of Commerce, U. S. District Court and Appellate Court in Los Angeles, the Federal Court of International Trade in New York City, New Mexico District Court in Taos, and the New Mexico Bar Association.
The issues are these. One, whether my El Bosque Garlic Farm has standing as a commercial producer of garlic with the Department of Commerce, which first recognized my standing and then denied it, based on false allegations; two, whether myself and twenty other defendants have engaged in racketeering activities as charged by Chinese garlic importer Harmoni Spice, which has appealed the dismissal of their charges; three, charges before the NM Bar by Harmoni Spice that my trade attorney friend Ted Hume was practicing law in NM without a license, charges which were dismissed; four, attorney Hume’s charges against his former office manager for embezzlement and for turning confidential files over to Harmoni Spice, whose attorneys are being paid by Harmoni.
Before the Department of Commerce reversed itself and denied my standing as a garlic producer, thereby denying my right to request a review of all importers of garlic, Harmoni Spice was liable for $200-million-plus in anti-dumping duties, for failing to cooperate with the Commerce administrative review process.
We estimate that Harmoni, working with Christopher Ranch of Gilroy and the other members of the Fresh Garlic Producers Association (Valley Garlic, Vesey and Company, and the Garlic Company), has spent $10-$15 million fighting my little garlic farm. There are now about a dozen U.S law firms directly and indirectly involved in the case (plus several in China), which became the subject of the Netflix episode, “Garlic Breath,” in the documentary series “Rotten” released in January 2018. Unfortunately the episode misses the fact that Harmoni was let off the hook for $200 million in duties owing to the likelihood that Commerce used the false accusations against attorney Hume and myself as a way to cave into political pressure from the California Central Valley Congressional delegation.
Christopher Ranch et al, by reselling cheap Harmoni garlic (the wholesale price in China is $1 a kilo), have been the chief beneficiaries of the fact that Harmoni has paid zero anti-dumping duty for the past 14 years, through legally gaming the system. This has enabled it to obtain a monopoly position in garlic imported from China, at the expense of importers who have been assessed anti-dumping duties.
Anti-dumping duties, which cover some 350 products, are intended to level the playing field between low cost---“dumped”—imported products and those of domestic producers.
But what is really at issue here? Harmoni’s extraordinary efforts to fight the Department of Commerce review process to establish a new rate of anti-dumping duty would seem to point to a larger issue, such as tax evasion or the use of Chinese prison labor (as alleged in the Netflix documentary).
---Stan Crawford, El Bosque Garlic Farm, Dixon, NM
©2018 Stanley Crawford