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Diederick Knijnenburg, Oakfield Champignons:
Poland is Holland's biggest competitor
It's a calm period in the mushroom market. "The demand is lower in the summer months and a lot of growers have reduced their production. We also produce less in May, June and the start of July. We are now gradually ramping the volumes up again," says Diederick Knijnenburg of Oakfield Champignons.
He indicates that they can't complain. "The mushrooms are selling quite well. We are dependent on set customers and offers here and there, there isn't really day to day trade. Prices aren't bad, but not fantastic either." He says the year has been varied so far. "There were difficult moments, but good days too. When you decide to produce less in a certain period, you feel like it's selling well. The downside of playing it 'safe' is that you have fewer happy accidents. Thankfully, we were able to play into the shortage of oyster mushrooms at one point. This made up for a lot. What is striking about the mushroom trade is that there is often a sudden shortage of one variety, but not often more."
Brown less well known
Most consumers eat white mushrooms. "They know them and the price is also reasonably stable. If the demand decreases, they still give a good price for it. During periods of less demand in brown mushrooms there is often a more extreme drop in price." He indicates that chestnut mushrooms are also less known. "They are delicious too. More mushroom remains after baking, there is less moisture in them. It might be interesting for retailers to do offers with brown mushroom more often, this will increase the consumer's knowledge of them." The sector does few generic offers. "There have been some chain wide initiatives in the past, but unfortunately little followed from them."
The biggest competitor for the Dutch mushroom sector is Poland. "We find them in the domestic and export market, Poland is everywhere. It's difficult to compete with them, as they can produce much more cheaply. They have modern buildings and the same knowledge and there has been a lot of EU investment. Really, we are waiting until Poland becomes wealthier, the people make more and can spend more. But this will take longer than a few years. Our advantage compared to Poland is that we're faster, and so supply fresher products. We also supply quality, are flexible, have a wide assortment and defining packaging."
For more information:
Oakfield Champignons B.V.
6039 RV Stramproy (NL)
T +31 (0)495 56 41 13
F +31 (0)495 56 15 60
Publication date: 8/16/2017
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