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Poland is the largest exporter of mushrooms in Europe

Poland is the  largest producer and exporter of mushrooms in Europe and one of the largest in the world. Its production has been growing continuously for more than a decade, accelerating markedly since 2020.

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Mushroom production in Europe

The European mushroom market is worth around EUR 1.5 billion, half of which belongs to Poland and the Netherlands. According to the Central Statistical Office, in 2022 we produced 350,000 tonnes. The Netherlands came second with a production of 230,000 tonnes, then Italy and Spain. Visualizing this data, it can be said that every third mushroom exported to the world comes from our country. Poland’s share in the export of mushrooms and their products is over 30% of the world market.

 Between 30 and 40 percent of all our production remains in the country for domestic consumption.

Export of Polish mushrooms

In 2022, we exported 243,3 thousand tonnes of mushrooms worth EUR 462.18 million and 87.6 thousand tonnes of  mushroom preserves worth EUR 154.7 million.

In 2023, from January to November, mushroom exports amounted to 243 thousand tonnes and their value exceeded EUR 469.18 million.

Germany is the largest recipient of our fresh and chilled mushrooms. In 2022, they bought EUR 118.136 million worth, and only until October of 2023 – for EUR 126.341 million. Next is the United Kingdom – in 2022 it imported for EUR 107.694 million, and till October 2023 for EUR 106.549 million, and France (2022 – EUR 66.12 million and until October 2023 – EUR 69.75 million). Other significant recipients of our mushrooms are: Greece (approx. EUR 25.8 million), Italy and Sweden – over EUR 18.8 million each.

Based on estimates from January-October 2023, the Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics of the National Research Institute estimates that the size and value of Polish mushroom exports throughout 2023 will reach 355 thousand tonnes and  EUR 505 million, and mushroom products will reach EUR 165 million.

Risks associated with mushroom production

The biggest cause for concern for Polish mushroom growers is primarily rising energy prices, but also rising labour costs. The electricity that powers the air conditioning, which is an essential element of investment profitability for this industry, has a major impact on the competitiveness of the final price of mushrooms. If energy costs are too high, Polish mushroom will lose its reputation as being good and cheap. Air conditioning allows mushrooms to be grown all year round, even in eight cycles. Without it, the cycles are reduced to just two seasons – starting in January and August.

At the moment, Polish hand-picked mushrooms are highly valued for their quality on global markets. In the next few years, the volume of domestic and foreign demand for them should remain stable, and Polish producers, in order to remain competitive on world markets, are looking for an additional source of reducing investment costs by selling used mushroom substrate as fertilizer for farmers.

Source: Instytut Ekonomiki Rolnictwa i Gospodarki Żywnościowej, GUS, PAIH

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