As Mushrooms Become a Household Staple, Supply Struggles to Keep Up with Demand
With more people adding mushrooms to their everyday diet, the country is finding itself with a growing shortage of fresh mushrooms, writes Vishnu Rajamanickam for FreightWaves.com.
“The consumer market is embracing fresh mushrooms more than it had in the past and is becoming a new household staple,” said Lori Harrison, the Communications Manager at Avondale-based American Mushroom Institute.
However, as demand grows, the mushroom market is struggling to keep up. Key issues include the bad weather conditions this year, but the main problem is a shortage of workers. Growing mushrooms is a highly intensive process, with the harvest ongoing 365 days a year with each mushroom picked by hand.
“A lot of agriculture segments are facing a labor shortage, and the mushroom industry certainly falls into that category,” said Harrison.
She said that labor shortage is also why farmers are hesitating to expand their operation and invest in new equipment.
In an attempt to boost the workforce, farmers in Chester County are offering workers more flexible hours and other benefits.
Read more about the labor shortage at FreightWaves.com here.
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