Ukrainian exotic mushrooms are doing very well at this time of year

“We’re struggling to keep up with market demand for the festive season”

With the holiday season coming up, demand for exotic mushrooms is increasing significantly. So much so that it’s hard to keep up. However, transportation is currently an issue, as well as increasing costs of production. These challenges aren’t unique to Ukraine though, as the problems can be found across the board in Europe.

Peter Sutherland, head of sales for Ukrainian exotic mushroom exporter Nature Green, states that current demand for exotic mushrooms is hard to keep up with: “The winter season kicked off successfully in October, with rising demand from our customers in Germany, Netherlands, UK. We are now dealing with the festive season and struggling to keep up with market demand, even though the capacity was increased last summer with new advanced fruiting rooms and systems with the aim to get higher yield and improve quality.”

Although demand is very strong at the moment, the season is not without its challenges, Sutherland explains. “Over Q3 & Q4, we have seen dramatic cost increases across the production supply chain, from raw materials to electricity. It has affected us in such a way, that we have been forced to increase our sales pricing just to cover costs, thus affecting the allocation from customer to customer. Ultimately this drives customers to look for more cost-effective suppliers/products on the market. With a lot of struggles, we have retained our customer base, as we are not the only producer with increasing production costs, it is across the board. Regardless of whether your production is in, Lithuania, Spain, Poland or Germany, everyone is facing the same issues, those being drastic increases in production costs.”

On top of the increased costs of production, transport is also an issue during the holiday season, Sutherland states. However, Nature Green has solid relationships with transporters and isn’t expecting any trouble: “Logistics is always a battle over the festive season; however, we believe that by dealing with long-term partners and signing up for annual contracts, we can maintain some sort of control over the logistics costs side of things. The UK Brexit has put a lot of strain on this sector, whether it be driver/vehicle availability or fuel costs, there is no getting away from the tricky scenarios when outsourcing logistics. We see many of our competitors utilizing in-house logistics with their own vehicles, however, we have built such a strong relationship with our vendor that we would not have a cost-effective reason to change and take such a responsibility on. At Nature Green, we believe that a reliable & consistent logistics supplier is just as important as the raw materials we use in production. It’s a key part of delivering a high-quality fresh mushroom.”

It’s been difficult to reach both new as well as existing clients face to face, with the pandemic still making this more difficult, Sutherland says. “The recent new outbreaks of the coronavirus and related restrictions in Europe have made it even more difficult or impossible in some cases, to hold an in-person meeting with customers. Nevertheless, it didn’t affect the solid relationships and the trust built up in these years with all customers based on long-term partnerships and mutual support. All winter programs have been confirmed smoothly. Even though we’re not happy that the next Fruit Logistica has been postponed, Nature Green will confirm its presence at the most important event as a visitor. We are thrilled to meet up again in person with all customers and market stakeholders and provide them with news about new products and packaging, to be launched by the next 2022 winter season.”

“We’re also happy to announce the launch of our new website, fully revamped and adding value to our market presence overall. We have taken a lot of time and effort with the developer on the feel and flow of the website and its content. The aim of this was to take us from an everyday website to something unique and to make our presence known. We have launched it in English, with the German and Dutch pages launching soon. Our goal is to bring Nature Green up to international standards in regards to our online marketing stance.” Sutherlands concludes.

For more information:
Peter Sutherland
Nature Green

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