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Bund Deutscher Champignon- und Kulturpilzanbauer (BDC)

Energy crisis hits cultured mushroom industry hard

The energy-intensive production of mushrooms is currently particularly affected by the impact of the Ukraine war on the procurement of electricity and gas for food production, according to the BDC. This became clear once again at an extraordinary meeting of the Advisory Board of the Federation of German Mushroom and Cultivated Mushroom Growers (BDC) in Hanover on September 6, 2022.

During the intensive exchange with representatives of the Federal Association of Energy Users (VEA), the participants spoke about the extremely energy-intensive climate control processes in the cultivation rooms and the cooling of the harvested products, and also about the substrate production as well as the hygienization of the substrate and the disinfection of the rooms.

Despite all efforts, mushroom farms have so far not been able to participate in the energy cost reduction program of the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA), as they do not belong to the listed sectors. Considering the amounts of energy required within the mushroom industry, this is quite incomprehensible for the BDC representatives. The board estimates that the electricity and gas price increases alone could generate additional costs of over 75 million euros for the industry, should electricity and gas prices remain at this level or even increase further.

The situation is extremely serious, as CO2 pricing and increased operating costs for cardboard and other packaging have already made pricing more difficult. In addition, the upcoming minimum wage increase for harvest workers and the gas levy are now being added to the mix, with more challenges looming on the energy market.

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