The current high cost prices are causing a lot of turmoil in the Dutch mushroom sector. High energy prices and labor costs weigh especially heavily on growers. At present, their cost price for a kilo of fresh mushrooms is around €2. That is according to Tom van Wijk, the chairman of the Netherlands Agricultural and Horticultural Organization (LTO) Mushroom group.
Banken Champignons, a Dutch mushroom market leader, too, also faces rising power bills. "We have to mimic an autumnal climate when growing mushrooms," says Rob Banken, "so we have to use cooling and heating. In 2022, it was very hot for a long time, which required additional electricity. Thermally cleaning the production areas also resulted in additional costs due to increased gas prices."
"Plus, the rising energy and transportation costs affect raw material costs. That's led to a huge cost increase for a kilo of mushrooms. On top of all that, labor costs just keep climbing. It remains very difficult to find, house, and transport harvest workers. The mushroom industry must get a surcharge as soon as possible to cover all the increased costs, or there won't be sufficient availability of fresh mushrooms," Rob concludes.