Garlic Production a Way of Life

Garlico Marlborough owners Robert Harrison-Jones and Alan Jones have been growing garlic and shallots their whole lives, following in the footsteps of their dad Peter and his cousin Tony.

They began learning the ropes in the early 70s, before taking the business over in 2003.

Garlico is an established business providing over 40% of New Zealand’s garlic and a fairly large percentage of New Zealand’s shallots as well. With a change in New Zealander’s diets, particularly in the last 10 years, the demand for their products is growing at a rapid rate.

Working with WK Advisors and Accountants

For as long as they can remember, Garlico’s accounts have been managed under the watchful eye of WK Advisors and Accountants.

“Mum and Dad, have been with WK probably since they first opened their doors, I don’t think there was a computer in the office back then, it was all paperwork,” Robert says.

Since taking over operations, Robert and Alan have introduced shallots and onion seeds to operations, and have developed their systems over time, alongside WK.

“With technology, computers, with Xero now, it’s at your fingertips and you know if you are slightly behind or if you’re in front and you can manage what your spendings are for the month,” Robert says.

His WK Advisor, Sabine Lieflander, says adopting Xero was one of the best things both WK and Garlico have done in terms of business growth, allowing instant access to detailed and useful reporting.

Robert and Alan value their strong relationship with Sabine and WK director Hamish Morrow.

“We pick up the phone and Hamish or Sabine are available straight away. They’ve helped us manage any financial risks, and if we want to go and buy something we can say, ‘Sabine is this going to fit into the cash flow?’, she runs the numbers, ‘yes we can do it, no we can’t,” Robert says.

The information Sabine provides enables Garlico to make informed decisions about any CapEx requirements.

Hamish also catches up with the Garlico team about once every quarter to help them look at where they are at and plan where they’re headed with their business.

Due to the business being agricultural there is a certain degree of risk involved so the quarterly meetings are vital to ensure the business is on track and remains profitable.