The editorial in the February edition of the Mushroom Business magazine looked at the lack of pickers in the European mushroom sector, and how recruitment is becoming a problem. Labour costs are of course one of the biggest costs in agriculture - but with all the talk of automatisation there has yet to come a robotic picking system for mushrooms.
The delicate fungi are just too difficult yet for the robotic picking systems thus far developed.
Recently rereading the very first Mushroom People Magazine from late 1984, Stalker noted that in it there is reference to an automated picking hand on display at a mushroom exhibition in Holland.
So nearly 35 years on from that and the holy grail of a fully automated picking process has yet to be achieved. Stalker doesn’t doubt that when it comes it will be a Dutch system!