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6-7 June, 2018-Kiev, Ukraine:
Ukrainian mushroom industry: looking into the futureAfter experiencing huge growth from 2002 to 2012, Ukrainian mushroom production has pretty much stabilised over the last 5 years. Inna Ustilovskaja from the Ukrainian Mushroom Information agency UMDIS, said that Polish competition and low domestic demand for mushrooms have contributed to the stall in production.
Despite these hurdles, Ukraine is one of the most promising mushroom producing countries, producing nearly 45 thousand tons of mushrooms per year. Ninety percent of production is white champignons, and the remaining amount includes brown champignons, oyster mushrooms, shiitake and eringi.
"Traditionally, mushrooms had been an imported product, but once the USSR fell and consumers became more familiar with mushrooms, Ukrainian production began as demand grew. After 10 years of fast growth, between 2002-2012, around 50,000 tons of fresh mushrooms were produced by 2012. However, Ukrainian consumers still only eat an average of 1-1.5 kg of mushrooms per years and demand for exports is tricky because of competition from Poland, which tends to set the standard for high quality," said Inna.
As production has stabilised, many of the smaller producers have stopped growing mushrooms and Inna said that more of the larger operations are working on modernisation, but they still have some work to do before they are able to be a significant competitor for exports.
During first 9 months of 2017, Ukraine exported 280 tons of mushrooms to Moldova and Belarus, countries which have more lenient quality requirements, compared to the EU, but these markets remain quite small. Inna said that Asia could also be an interesting market to enter, but that it is also quite demanding.
"The good news for Ukrainian growers is that there are no big threats within the local market. The prices are so low, with the average price falling around €1.00/kg, no outside market could possibly compete. There is no doubt that having a hold on the domestic market is an achievement, the prospects for expansion remain uncertain. Ukraine has the potential to produce more mushrooms, but the current issue is that they wouldn't know what to do with them," exclaims Inna.
As Ukrainian mushroom producers continue to look for new partners, the Ukrainian Mushroom Information agency (UMDIS) is arranging the third annual conference entitled; “Ukrainian mushroom industry: looking into the future”, which will take place on 6-7 June, 2018, at the The Art Hotel in Kiev.
The event gathers more than 300 visitors from nearly 15 countries, such as Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Moldova, Georgia, Holland, USA, UK, Slovakia, Romania, Belarus, etc.
"The event is a great opportunity for mushroom growers to establish business relationships and meet producers of compost, casing soil, equipment, etc. Visitors are given the chance to listen to speakers from different countries, who share there experiences about growing, new technologies, trade, and so on. There is also a space for exhibitors, where visitors have the opportunity to speak with industry leaders, but of course, there is always a chance throughout the entire conference for networking."
Click here to visit English version of the conference website.
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