Mushroom Valley

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  • How can Dutch mushroom growers strengthen their position and delevop new revenue models?

    August 14, 2020

    Internship report Katerina Ruseva (Fontys Venlo)

    "Dutch mushroom growers can strengthen their position and develop new revenue models through cooperation."

    That is the conclusion of Katerina Ruseva, Fontys Venlo student. Under the guidance of Dr. Jean Louis Steevensz, responsible for the business innovation research group at Fontys, has written an advisory report for the Dutch mushroom sector.

    One of the causes for the current situation is the increasing competition from abroad and the ever-shrinking margin for Dutch mushroom growers. Finally, there is no visible distinction between Dutch mushrooms and the usually cheaper foreign mushrooms. While, thanks to our mushroom knowledge, raw materials, technology and processing, we produce mushrooms in the most labor-friendly, productive and efficient way.

    The former mushroom cultivation education and research station have played an important role in this. This was the breeding ground for the development and safeguarding of knowledge. This knowledge is currently disappearing from the sector due to an aging population.

    However, with a product as healthy, sustainable and versatile as the mushroom, we have gold in our hands. Time for a change!

    Problem statement: "How can Dutch mushroom growers strengthen their position and develop new revenue models?"

    To answer this question, a desk study was conducted and discussions were held with Maasland Champignons, van Asseldonk mushrooms and Prochamp. Mushroom Pact, LTO mushroom department and Mushroom Valley also participated in the qualitative research.

    After this market orientation, the sector showed a need for cooperation between mushroom growers and the supply sector. This way the opportunities can be capitalized. After all, there is an increasing need for healthy food and alternatives to meat.

    The intended ambition of the Dutch mushroom sector to develop a Dutch Mushroom Center on the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo is a perfect match for this. This will be a breeding ground for developing and safeguarding knowledge in the field of mushrooms, raw materials, technology and valorisation. From the Dutch Mushroom Center, entrepreneurs, education and governments work together on a healthy future with promotion, education, innovation and gastronomy as the main spearheads.

    The advice is to find the connection here. From here, students receive theory and practical lessons to eventually get started within the mushroom sector. At the same time, practical cultivation studies are carried out here to make the production process even more labor-friendly, productive and efficient. In addition, research is conducted here into ingredients and new product developments are taking place. 

    This leads to a healthy, sustainable and versatile product, which is sold through gastronomy.

    The Dutch Mushroom Center will act as the meeting place and showcase for the mushroom sector.

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