In 2023, Kultive embarked on an ambitious project: growing French mushrooms to meet a real demand in a sector mainly represented by imported products. Despite a few necessary adaptations common to all new projects, this first campaign has gone rather smoothly so far, thanks to a fine collaboration between growers, Kultive, wholesalers and supermarkets.
“Over the last four months, we’ve had to deal with various issues relating to quality, packaging and labor management, among others. Our producers have taken full responsibility for the start of the campaign and everything has now been resolved. Production is well in place and the teams are well structured to work efficiently and cope with the surge in volumes. We have managed to get through these first few months successfully thanks to the adaptability and motivation of our producers, as well as the support from our wholesale and retail clients,” explains Alexandre Picault, sales manager of the company.
A critical 3-month summer period to bring the project to fruition
Unfortunately, the market conditions have not been working in favor of our producers. “Next year, we will be able to adapt our production volumes more easily to the market, but we had no choice in the production schedule for this first campaign. The increase in mushroom volumes comes at a time of year when consumption is not very dynamic. But the stakes are high because our producers are now well organized to produce 30% more volumes, as part of a plan to offset the particularly high production costs.
"At the moment, we sell 30 tons a week, and we need to increase our volumes to 50 tons. If this sales target is not reached quickly, our producers will have to reorganize their workforce internally, at the risk of not being able to supply sufficient volumes in September when consumption picks up again. It is up to us and our clients to continue to support them over the summer period, to see the project through to the end and to ensure the continuity of French mushroom production throughout the rest of the year.”
Quality and responsiveness: the strengths of French mushroom production
Kultive is therefore actively looking for solutions with its partners in order to boost production and sales, and to stabilize the teams in place at the producers' sites, so as to be fully operational in the autumn. For this ambitious project to come to fruition, French mushroom production is luckily of great appeal to retailers and consumers alike.
“Unlike the imported products, the mushrooms grown by our French producers have a more generous flesh in the sense that they lose much less water during cooking. As a result, they are naturally more tasty and of higher quality. During these first 4 months of the campaign, we have constantly adapted our production and packaging methods to meet the market requirements. Every week, we have made adjustments in terms of packaging and production to meet our clients' needs. We also embarked on this project because there was a real market demand for French mushrooms. At the moment, however, there are still a lot of imported mushrooms on the shelves, proving that consumption, although we are in the summer, is still dynamic to a certain extent. We are therefore firmly convinced that French mushrooms, with their quality, taste and adaptability, have everything it takes to gain a better place on the French market, even during the summer months. Now it is up to all of us to work together to make it happen.”