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Chris Chamballu, France Champignon:

“Imported mushrooms could take over French mushrooms”

It is the beginning of the French mushroom season and a lot of imported mushrooms can still be found on the shelves. “In recent years, there was a shortage of French mushrooms on the market, especially around the Christmas holidays,” explains Chris Chamballu of France Champignon. “Large retailers and wholesalers were faced with a lot of shortage. In order to prevent shortages, they ted having open lines on imports all year round: even at the beginning of the season, when there normally is no shortage of French mushrooms.”

In parallel, the production costs for French mushrooms are increasing. “Energy prices, especially gas, have strongly increased. However, these are essential for mushroom production in order to control temperatures. The ban on plastic trays represents additional costs. Given all this, we will face an inflationary context with rising prices.”

It is difficult to estimate if the final consumer is willing to pay the price. “We can’t have prices that are too far out of line with the Polish and Dutch mushrooms. If Poland has the same inflation rate as France, it will be alright. Otherwise, the difference will be too great. We must find a good sales dynamic to be able to compete with imports. Otherwise, imported mushrooms will take over. We can already observe the first examples of this. The mushrooms sold under Leclerc’s own brand, “Notre Jardin”, come from the Netherlands (500g trays).”

In order to encourage the final consumer to buy French mushrooms, France Champignon plays the regional card. “Our mushrooms are labelled ‘Produced in Anjou’. This label promotes regional companies. We have specialized in blond mushrooms.”

For more information:
Chris Chamballu
France Champignon
Phone: (33) 02 41 40 51 48
Fax: (33) 02 41 40 51 49 

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