Quality mushrooms have been grown in the Fraser Valley since the 1920s . Money’s Mushrooms was the original grower cooperative and growers benefited from combining their marketing and selling efforts. From the early fifties to well into the late 80’s growers did well – they produced superior quality, fresh mushrooms and together supported innovative and successful marketing efforts. In the 90’s, changing market conditions meant that the co-operative model of growing and selling fresh mushrooms had out-lived its effectiveness. Today there are a number of fresh packers and distributors of BC mushrooms . BC’s high quality mushrooms are sold mostly to fresh markets throughout the Pacific Northwest (Western Canada, and the United States)
The BC mushroom industry is an important sector of provincial horticulture and a major producer of mushrooms in Canada. The farm gate value of Mushrooms in 2004 was over $70 million placing them within the top ten of all commodities grown in British Columbia. The BC mushroom industry is the second largest producer in Canada, next to Ontario, accounting for about 30% of the nation’s production.
Following are some general facts about the mushroom industry:
- Quality mushrooms have been grown in the Fraser Valley since the 1920s
- Mushrooms are marketed fresh daily to a network of outlets in British Columbia and the United States and are processed into a variety of mushroom products.
- Per Capita fresh mushroom consumption in the United States is 2.5 lbs per annum
- Per Capita fresh mushroom consumption in Canada is 4.5 lbs per annum
- British Columbia produces enough fresh mushrooms to meet consumer demand in the province.
- BC exports about half of its annual fresh mushroom production. 95% of exports go to the United States, mainly to Washington, Oregon and California.
- Overall 21% of Canadian production is exported and 10% is sold for processing
- Mushroom production in the United States quadrupled in the thirty years 1970 to 1999 from 194 million pounds to 848 million pounds
- Production of mushroom for the fresh market accounted for 90% of total Canadian mushroom production in 2001 with the remainder going to processed products like dried or canned mushrooms (Source: Statistics Canada Census of all Mushroom Growers)
- Canadian mushroom production grew by 7.5% from 2000 to 190 million pounds in 2001 (Source: Statistics Canada Census of all Mushroom Growers)
- Globally Canada ranked 12th in mushroom production in 1998 producing 2.5% of world production. China was the largest at 24.1% of production and the United States second at 18.4% (Source World Bank)
- There are over 2500 species of mushroom found worldwide
- Estimated worldwide mushroom production in 1998 was 2.12 million metric tonnes. (Source World Bank)