Challenges cause total revenues to stagnate

Staff shortages affect German mushroom production

The members of the Association of German Mushroom and Cultivated Mushroom Growers (BDC) e.V. find it increasingly difficult to get  enough workers to harvest their mushrooms. According to the members of the board meeting in Heiligenstadt, production volumes could not totally be harvested everywhere. Although there were moderate increases in revenues this spring, those, the people at the 71st BDC Annual Meeting in Thuringia agreed, are not enough to cover the ever-increasing costs. In those cases where the companies can still find workers, these are no longer satisfied with a minimum wage.

Despite all technical advances, a mechanical harvest of the sensitive mushrooms is unimaginable in the near future. The costs in the energy sector continue to rise. Straw as an important raw material for substrate production is increasingly difficult to obtain in sufficient quality and last but not least ensures the fertilizer regulation that the Champost, so the removed fungus substrate, can be recycled only with ever greater effort.

Staff shortages & different straw quality
The lack of manpower and the very different straw quality of the extreme summer of 2018 have also affected the production figures. In total, a total of 78,000 tonnes of mushrooms from Germany are expected for this year. In 2018 it was 79,150 tons. Of the 78,000 tonnes, 68,000 tonnes of mushrooms are grown for the fresh market. Wild mushrooms, which are also included in the total, have increased significantly this year with a yield of 3,900 tons - in 2018, 3,150 tons of precious mushrooms were harvested. Organic mushrooms are in vogue, and their share, according to experts, is now expected to be 7.2 percent instead of 5.5 percent from last year. The procurement of organic straw is still one of the limiting factors for organic production.

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