Millions of tonnes of mushrooms are grown world-wide. The biggest producer is China, good for 70% of global production. The United States comes in second. Poland is the biggest producer in Europe, followed by the Netherlands, which has an annual production of about 250 million kilos (reaching 255 million kilos) The Netherlands currently has 200 mushroom growers, most of which are based in the southern provinces, below the major European rivers that flow through the country to the sea. The Dutch mushroom sector employs about 10.000 people. The French deliver close to 13% of the EU production with around 60 producers. Mushroom cultivation can achieve a yield of up to 30 kilos per square metre per crop. 80% of the total mushroom production in the Netherlands is for export, 65% of which is exported as canned or frozen mushrooms. The mushroom is an important export product in the canned vegetables segment. Most of these canned mushrooms go to Germany. Germans eat more mushrooms than any other population in Europe: 2.9 kilos per person per year. The French eat 2.4 kilos, of mushrooms a year, most of which are canned. The Dutch mainly buy fresh mushrooms. In total, including both canned and fresh mushrooms, the Dutch eat 1.2 kilos of mushrooms a year.
The UK produces more than 100 million kilos of mushrooms a year, from about 150 growers across about 280 mushroom farms. Northern Ireland is also a main mushroom growing region, with some 300 mushroom farms, and supplies many mushrooms to the UK.
Fresh mushrooms are more popular than canned in the UK and they make up 7% of all vegetable sales. Almost all of these (95%) are white mushrooms, 65% of which are closed cup mushrooms.
Mushrooms are most popular for dinner or breakfast. In any single year, mushrooms make up meals 1.2 billion times. That’s an awful lot of mushrooms!