The shiitake mushroom sticks are wooden sticks inoculated with the spores of the shiitake mushroom. These wooden sticks are used in the cultivation of shiitake mushrooms. This method is gradually turning into the most popular plantation technology in the mushroom industry. China is a large producer of mushrooms and the Chinese export volume of shiitake mushroom sticks is growing every year. Manager Sun Zhendong, spokesperson for the foreign trade department of Qihe Bio Tech, recently talked about current conditions in the mushroom export market.
"The champignon mushroom has always been a traditional staple in the European and US mushroom industries. The price of shiitake mushrooms is relatively expensive at 19.9 yuan [2.85 USD] per kg in comparison with the 0.8 yuan [0.11 USD] per kg for champignon mushrooms. Overseas consumers have become acquainted with the shiitake mushrooms for their unique flavor and nutritional richness. The large profit margin in this market attracts many international companies who previously imported shiitake mushrooms from China, but have now introduced shiitake mushroom sticks to local mushroom production areas who sell directly to local markets," explained manager Sun.
"Our main export markets are in East Asia, North America, and Europe. We have an annual export volume of 50 million mushroom sticks. East Asia and North America have long traditions of mushroom cuisine, so these are our most active markets. We are currently trying to develop the European market. We exported 2 million mushroom sticks to Europe last year. This year we expect to export 4.5 million sticks to Europe. The current price in the European market, based on the cost price of raw materials, is around 1.2 Euro per mushroom stick."
The shiitake mushroom is a tree mushroom and, unlike the common champignon mushroom, it is grown on tree logs. European countries like the Netherlands mainly use artificial growing environments such as plastic baskets.
Manager Sun explained the differences between the traditional method and modern methods: "The shiitake mushroom sticks produce around 30% more than the plastic baskets. Furthermore, the growing period is around 7-8 days shorter. In addition, the flavor of traditionally-grown shiitake mushrooms is better and the level of nutrients is higher. The traditional mushroom stick method is not only used by large-scale companies in North America, but many consumers also purchase them directly to grow mushrooms at home."
In addition to shiitake mushroom sticks, Qihe Bio Tech also sells fruit tree shiitake mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms, and a variety of other fresh mushrooms. "We hope to become a model company for the domestic distribution of mushrooms, the overseas export of mushrooms, and fresh local supply of mushrooms across the globe."
For more information:
Shandong Qihe Bio Tech Co., Ltd.