David Morange, France Champignon - Bonduelle Group:

“The inflationary context forces us to review the way we manage our companies”

“Given the cost structure for mushrooms, production prices are heavily impacted by the increases in the cost of energy, packaging, transport and labor,” explains David Morange, director of operations at Bonduelle, which acquired France Champignon in 2021. “The abnormal inflationary context forces us to review the way we manage our companies. We need to have the right indicators at all times and be agile on all fronts.”

The increase in the cost of energy and gas has had a significant impact. “Energy represents a significant portion of the mushroom production costs. The evolution of gas and electricity prices will be a major issue in the coming months.” 

In terms of foreign competition, the higher energy prices do not seem to make French mushrooms more subject to competition with imported products. “The impact of inflation is not stronger in France than in other producing countries, and production costs have been increasing strongly everywhere. The new balance that will result from this still remains to be seen.”

At the export level, managing transportation has been complicated. But the main expectation for the coming months has to do with the market trends. “Following the different crises - Covid, inflation and energy costs-, we have lost our reference points. The challenge is now to make the right choices in this unstable context.”

Sales are picking up
The demand for mushrooms is currently on the rise. “After a very calm summer in terms of sales, mainly due to the high temperatures which are less favorable for mushroom consumption. But sales seem to be back to a good pace, for fresh, canned as well as frozen mushrooms.”

According to David, French consumers tend to prefer local mushrooms. “The origin of the product is an important element for most consumers for several reasons: the carbon impact related to transportation, food security and a general preference for local or national productions.”

Regarding fresh mushrooms, the AGEC law puts an end to the use of plastic for mushroom packaging by January 1st, 2025. “We are therefore working on the issue in order to be ready for this virtuous shift.”

For more information:
David Morange
France Champignon - Bonduelle

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