William Trapon, Trapon Champignons:

“The growth of the boletus was very surprising this year”

According to William Trapon, manager of Trapon Champignons, it is a very atypical season for the boletus. “The first weeks of September were very dry and very warm. Such weather conditions are not what we associate with the growth of boletus mushrooms. Surprisingly, there were quite a lot in France. It was actually difficult to sell them, because the temperatures were too warm for consumption.”

Today, the situation has been completely reversed. “For about two weeks, all the weather conditions necessary for the growth of the boletus have been met. It started raining and temperatures have dropped to around 10 degrees. However, we lack a lot of merchandise, which is difficult to understand. Besides that, the market has settled. The temperatures are perfect for consumption and the demand is high.”

William adds that this is not just a problem in France. “There is a worldwide shortage of boletus. We are getting some demand from many countries that usually have their own production, even the Balkan countries.”

Despite the shortage of boletus mushrooms, William is quite optimistic for the other wild mushroom varieties, such as the chanterelle. “Now that the weather is perfect for mushrooms to grow, the volumes of other autumn products are starting to increase.”

Impact of the coronavirus
The health crisis has had a great impact on the wild mushroom market in March and April, when restaurants were closed. “80% of our products normally go to restaurants. We had to stop the fresh wild morel season entirely. Regarding the supply, it has been very complicated to import mushrooms because air traffic was also at a standstill. But on the other hand, the month of March only represents a small part of our revenue. The last four months of the year are the most important in terms of sales. Another lockdown at the end of the year could be much more catastrophic.”

The encouragement from the French government to favor the French production has had both a positive and a negative impact for Trapon Champignons. “On the one hand, the sales of our French products such as wild blueberries and golden chanterelles went quite well in the spring. On the other hand, we sold much less imported golden chanterelles than usual.”

The uncertainty is high for the coming months. “If there is another national or regional lockdown, it will become impossible to go pick wild mushrooms in the woods. Without wild mushrooms, we will have a shortage of products. There is also a lot of uncertainty regarding the European market and the Asian market at the same time, which is quite rare.”

For more information:
Trapon Champignons
Phone: +33 (0)4 73 82 20 08

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