Peter Hein from Bayerischen Pilzbörseon the market for mushrooms and sprouts

"Mushrooms price levels will have to be adjusted upward"

For the mushroom sector, the December sales have been rather subdued this year due to lockdowns and Corona measures. "The complete lockdown in Austria, one of our main sales areas, has of course had a serious impact on demand. In turn, the sudden relaxation has given business a noticeable boost: nonetheless, we are still 40 to 50 percent below normal sales levels due to the restrictions to the catering trade. In addition, the first catering suppliers have already had to announce shorter work hours," says Peter Hein, Managing Director of Bayerische Pilzbörse Ltd, based at the Munich wholesale market.

According to Hein, several factors are affecting this year's marketing of mushrooms, such as inflation, the weather and the ongoing pandemic. "People are all unsettled, and this is reflected accordingly in sales. Retail is continuing, but canteens and other large-scale consumers need significantly less goods than usual, because employees are still increasingly working from home."

A vendor from Bayerische Pilzbörse Ltd during Freshplaza's 2017 wholesale market visit.

Impending shortages of white mushrooms, bad wild mushroom season
Cultivated mushrooms - especially white mushrooms - were in relatively short supply this summer, Hein says, referring to the eventful marketing year. "A renewed shortage at Christmas cannot be ruled out. For brown mushrooms, supply has been sufficient to meet the demand so far. Regarding golden chanterelles, there has again been a lull in September, yet the market situation has now stabilized again."

During the season, wild mushrooms are traditionally among the top sellers at the Munich wholesale market. "Due to the weather, we look back on a poor campaign overall," Hein said. "Romanian and Polish porcini mushrooms have only been available in larger quantities for a very short time, which is why people have increasingly resorted to chanterelles. In the run-up to Christmas, we're offering Italian truffles as usual, which are priced very high this year due to the tight supply situation."

Brown mushrooms from regional mushroom farms.

Regional mushroom and sprout cultivation
Bayerische Pilzbörseon is responsible for marketing regional cultivated mushrooms from the nearby cultivation company Bayern Champignon Ltd. "About 40 percent of our cultivated mushrooms are coming from regional cultivation, while the rest are mainly sourced from Poland," Hein states. The latter are usually offered at lower prices. "Those who can afford it buy regional and inspected goods. Due to increased minimum wages as well as higher gas and fuel prices, the general conditions for regional mushroom cultivation have become more difficult. That is, the price level will have to be adjusted upward in the coming years to be able to continue."

In week 51, regional organic sprouts are traditionally in greater demand to decorate Christmas dishes.

The same applies to the Bavarian organic sprouts, but according to Hein, one has to differentiate: "With these sprouts we serve a completely different clientele compared to mushroom sales, paying  more attention to organic and regional aspects. This group of buyers tends to become smaller in the wholesale trade, but is still sufficiently active."

For more information:
Bayrische Pilzbörse GmbH
Peter Hein
Großmarkt München
Schäftlarnstr. 10
Halle 2 Stand 47/48
Tel : +49 (0)89 746656-33 -34        

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