Imports of wild mushrooms, especially chanterelles, are currently running at full speed. Despite the high importance of wild mushrooms, the current adversities, such as the Ukraine crisis, inflation, and price and cost increases, are having a significant impact on business. As a result, sales are significantly below the previous year's level, said Cleopatra Zwicknagl, specialist trader and head of the trading company of the same name.
Chanterelles: Sales volume far below previous year's level
Chanterelles currently come from several countries, such as Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria and Serbia. "Despite the ongoing war situation, there are regular shipments from Ukraine, be it partly with delay. Overall, the price level is high and stable due to high diesel and transport costs, although fortunately we have seen a slight price reduction in recent weeks."
Inflation and chewing restraint are now known to be shaping events in the food sector. "Higher-priced and fancy items like chanterelles have suffered noticeably from today's situation. The sales volume to date comprises about a quarter of what we were able to sell last year at this time of year," Ms. Zwicknagl explains.
Porcini mushrooms: Satisfactory business
Meanwhile, the marketing of porcini mushrooms - mainly from the Czech Republic and Romania - is also gradually gaining momentum. Compared to chanterelles, porcini are much more susceptible to heat, Zwicknagl points out. "Fortunately, however, we are now noticing a slight expansion in supply, with relatively high demand. The main season for porcini mushrooms, however, doesn't really take off until late September. It is therefore crucial how the supply situation develops until then."
High standing in the German specialist trade
Over the years, the Bavarian company Zwicknagl has been able to develop into a recognized contact point for wild mushrooms. "Via the German wholesale markets - whether in Mannheim, Stuttgart or Bielefeld - our goods find their way to the gastronome or specialist retailer. In addition, we operate an online store in which both private and commercial buyers are served accordingly. What also sets us apart is the careful sorting of the goods: after the already pre-sorted chanterelles arrive at our premises, they are subjected to an additional and detailed sorting process, in which the finest grade (approx. 1cm) is usually the most popular."
Abandonment of Kaluga goods
The difficult political situation in the East, the classic main sourcing area for wild mushrooms, does not leave the dedicated wild mushroom expert untouched. To what extent the Ukraine war and associated developments will leave longer-term traces in the industry is currently still unclear, she says.
"We were able to win some customers in Switzerland for us last year, who have now withdrawn again due to the adversity and import restrictions paired with it. We ourselves will refrain from importing the popular Kaluga chanterelles this year, especially as the goods can now only be obtained indirectly, which in turn has a negative impact on delivery times and procurement costs. In addition, the quality of Ukrainian and Belarusian chanterelles of Kaluga goods hardly decreases."
For more information:
Waldfrüchte Zwicknagl GmbH
Tel: 0 94 31 88 19 - 445
Fax: 0 94 31 88 19 - 447