Agaricus — The Leader in Production and Technology
Among the top ten producers (Table 12.2), Poland’s production has shown a dramatic increase of 1621.3% during the period from 1986 to 2000. In 1953, the production was only 80 MT. In 1970 it was 2000 MT, and in 1980 it was 22,000 MT and by 1990 annual production reached 105,000 MT. There have been many changes in the Polish industry over the last 10 years. Among the changes has been a development of the cooperative. This provided quite an advantageous situation for the growers since the cooperative had to buy everything that was contracted and pay a price that made it profitable for the growers. Another move was to use hybrid strains, which has enabled the Polish growers to produce the quality mushrooms necessary for expanding export sales
of fresh mushrooms. The export targets were the fresh markets in the Western European countries.
There is no doubt that the Polish industry will continue to innovate and to expand to meet the changing needs of the markets. There was a 453.3% increase in Ireland, 350.3% in China, 265.6% in Denmark, and 134.2% in the Netherlands. France increased only 5.6% and dropped in the world producer rankings from third to fourth place. In the past 10 years the French mushroom industry has undergone considerable change. Much of the industry has moved above ground and away from the traditional French system of producing mushrooms on bags in underground caves. China is now the world’s largest producer of