Fresh, fast and safe

Traders have to answer supermarket demands by providing larger volumes of fresher mushrooms faster. Food safety is an essential aspect here. A growing range of packaging is also being demanded, certainly from the UK market. French and German markets need a variety of mushrooms as well as the large volumes. Good quality is a must.

Third flush mushrooms are under increasing pressure, certainly if they are still grown in the traditional way and picked just before the weekend. Growers might even consider whether a third flush is worthwhile at this stage. The quality is often disappointing and the yield below expectations.

The increasing risk of wet/dry bulb infection is also a reason to consider leaving out a third flush. Two flushes ensure that quality improves and should reach between 90 and 95%. Picking performance increases definitely if combined with the graze picking system while the lower incidence of inferior quality mushrooms is positive. A disadvantage could be the production increase caused by the tighter picking schedule. Make sure you are able to market the mushrooms so consult your customers first. Remember the five main points: fresh, fast, volume, food safety and diverse packaging.

Marc Maas, C point

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