I have been primarily involved with the international mushroom industry with little contact with the Irish industry for the last few years.
I was showing a South American customer around the Irish industry recently and I was shocked to find that costs have increased dramatically.
The recent depreciation of the euro against sterling is seen as positive by some growers but I see this leading to higher costs for the Irish Industry. Certainly we will be more competitive in the short term againstmushrooms grown in the UK,but so too will the Dutch and Eastern European Producers.
Let’s look at our costs:
Compost: We have higher costs than many other countries. I believe that the cost of production is higher here and as we have competition I do not expect to see any major savings here.
Packaging: We have lack of competition in the marketplace and perhaps it is time the growers got directly involved. Oil prices have fallen in recent months. Has the price of trays fallen?
Labour: This is a major problem and I think that the government must wise up regarding:wage ratesetc.
Electricity:Some growers have invested in woodchip burners.
I would like to see a feasibility study on the production of Electricity from Gasification of woodchip. 1 Kg of dry woodchip will produce 1KWH of electricity. [Carbon neutral]
Heating:The wood chip option seems to be the only option considered.
Has anyone look at using used cooking oil? Substantial savings for small investment.
I am currently involved in a feasibility study that has the potential of producing heating fuel for a nominal cost. The investment necessary is €25,000 to produce 1000 litres of fuel per week. [50 tonne/week grower. I expect that European investment can be obtained.]
Insulation: The most cost effective method of reducing energy costs is by improved insulation. I am involved in importing fibre-glass that is less than 50% of current prices.
This is a high quality product manufactured to international standards and not to be confused by product imported by ANO.
Pipe insulation is available and if bought in bulk is 70% cheaper – 30% of Irish prices.
Maintenance: The cost of maintenance can be high especially on older farms.
I have manufactured sensors for computer systems and these are available at less than 50% of current prices. These sensors are built to a higher specification than originals.
ReplacementBelimo type servo motors are also available at similar savings.
Summary: If the industry is to have a future it must cut costs.
I suggest you the grower should look at the accounts of supply companies and see the overhead costs you are contributing to them and also the profits.
The old saying is true: Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
8/6/2012 10:03:38 AM Dear Mr David Totten
I have read what have you wrote about cost > it was much interesting for our group .
we would appreciated if u can send us some details about :
- electricity from gasification of wood chips .
- computer sensors system ,include the source we can buy from .
- some details about replacements of Belimo type servo motors , .
Hasan kashani / director Mushroom Research Institute / Lebanon , Lebanon midle east
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