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Cornelia Plank of Tyrolpilz on the acceptance of organic cultivated mushrooms in Austria:

"Especially with organic shiitake and portobello we still see potential upwards"

In November 2022, Tyrol organic mushrooms underwent a major brand relaunch. Since then, the organic mushrooms have been marketed under the new Tyrolpilz brand identity and in modern, sustainable cardboard trays.

"With the new Tyrolpilz brand, we want to give edible mushrooms a much higher status and anchor them as an integral part of the daily diet. This requires information, education, and inspiration. Many consumers do not even know what can be done with mushrooms," says Cornelia Plank, managing director of the company, founded in 2012 and based in Mils.

With the new cardboard tray, the company tried to find a more practical and "more airy" form of packaging. Plank: "Our organic mushrooms need enough space in the packaging on their way to the customers and suffer from a packaging solution that is too tight. With regard to environmentally friendly packaging solutions, we are already well on the way with a recycled cardboard box. The necessary protective film is also to be replaced as soon as possible with a fully recyclable film."

Managing Director Cornelia Plank in the cultivation cell

Cultivated mushrooms as an integral part of the daily diet
From the former basic idea of cultivating a regional, organic product, which at that time was not yet to be found in the Austrian food retail market in such a form, a modern mushroom business was created in 2012.

"In recent years, we have been able to learn a lot, have constantly developed and set new standards, especially in terms of quality and harvest. As the market leader in the organic mushroom segment, we reach almost all consumers in Austria through food retailers and can thus ensure that our vision of 'mushrooms as an integral part of the daily diet' is very realistic," says Plank.

He says that close, partnership-based cooperation with food retailers is important in this regard. "Precisely because our organic mushroom is an organic product, we need a certain flexibility with regard to harvesting, cultivation and distribution. Mushrooms do not always grow at the same rate—and especially when the focus is on quality, we can not compromise here."

Organic mushrooms in the new cardboard tray

Nowadays, Tyrolpilz GmbH produces brown organic mushrooms as well as organic shiitake. In the summer months, organic portobello, which is predominantly established as a grill mushroom, complements the basic assortment. "While the organic mushroom is the absolute front-runner, we still see potential for improvement, especially in the area of shiitake and portobello. However, this is not due to the quality of the mushroom or its taste, but rather to demonstrate application and processing possibilities. Consumers often simply don't know what can be cooked with these 'lesser-known' mushrooms."

Insight into processing and sorting

Sustainability and innovation
Mushroom cultivation is also confronted with increased energy and other operating costs. The investments made in sustainability and innovation are paying off especially well here, Plank continues. "Thanks to maximum efficiency in production, modern distribution and packaging solutions, and self-supply of energy via photovoltaic systems, the price increase is currently still kept at a reasonably tolerable level. "

View of the company headquarters in Mils, Tyrol

Despite numerous challenges, the company founder and CEO is looking ahead with confidence. "We see more and more small, regional producers who are trying to gain a foothold, especially in the field of fine mushrooms. The mushroom sector is a difficult field, as our product is extremely sensitive and experience, know-how and time are decisive factors. Especially when it comes to ensuring sustainable quality and providing the whole thing in economically attractive quantities, it will be exciting. In any case, we are very well prepared."

Photos: Myzelia Produktions- & Vertriebs GmbH

Further Information:
Cornelia Plank
Myzelia Produktions- & Vertriebs GmbH
Dorfstrasse 1
A-6068 Mils
T +43 5223 42425  

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