Golden Edition of Pieczarkalia 2022 is the first event of the mushroom industry of Poland since 2019. The mushroom business in this country is actively growing – now the industry has two major challenges: the cost of energy and labor shortages. This was discussed at the conference from the stage, over coffee breaks and even at a banquet.
Usually Pieczarkalia – Polish mushroom industrial conference – takes place in autumn. This year’s conference took place on June 2 at the Pałac and Folwark Łochów, Poland. It was combined with 30-years birthday of Wokas – the company which has been organizing the event for many years. During the day there was a powerful conference with reports on very up-to-date topics, in the evening there was a beautiful banquet in honor of the 30th anniversary of Wokas – the largest supplier of casing soil in Poland.
– Our goal is to make the Wokas brand stronger and to attract those farms that have not yet become our customers. To do this, we organize Pieczarkalia, – says Miroslaw Piekarski, head ofcasing soil department of Wokas.
Unlike in the Netherlands, Ukraine, or China, in Poland the main industry event is organized by one company- supplier as part of its marketing strategy. Wokas attracts partners, for example, this conference was held with the help of another company – the supplier of spawn Amycel.
– It was a pleasure to take a major role in the Conference in Lochow organised by Wokas.
As usual for Poland a very good gathering of many many growers and сomposters. Everyone was pleased to be there, – says John Clay Amycel Europe Sales Director.
Other suppliers – from Poland, the Netherlands, United Kingdom – also came to the conference and banquet.
– Wokas has its 30th anniversary, their customers and network have been invited. So it was not really an open exhibition as it was in Kyiv last year. This is the big difference between Wokas and UMDIS conference. However both events are fantastic, – says Gerard Peters, Christiaens’ sales manager, who attended both events.
The conference included 9 speeches on very up-to-date topics.
– During the conference a lot was said about the situation in the mushroom industry and current trends in its development. The world is changing – and the industry needs to keep up, says Daniel Dajewski, President of Agro-Projects.
Krystian Szudyga, President of the Polish Mushroom Association, made a general report on the mushroom industry. From his presentation we have learned that Poland continues to hold a leading position in the fresh mushroom market in Europe.
From the consultant Nikodem Sakson participants learned how the mushroom industry in Poland has developed over the decades.
Steve Lodder from Amycel talked about strains and presented a new strain of white mushroom – Excalibur. It has thicker stems, denser caps, give higher picking rate and increase quality.
Witold Platek from the Centrum Elektroniki Stosowanej CES compared the possibilities of cogeneration of heat, cold, steam and electricity using liquefied LNG and concluded that the use of cogeneration can reduce the cost of a mushroom farm energy usage by 5-20% depending on a number of factors.
Alan Doake from Axis has spoken about a picking system that can cut, sort, weigh and pack mushrooms in containers of different sizes. Axis`s system now is working on Highline Mushrooms, it is also now being installed in Europe.
Hubert Szczerbal from Magik has talked about how the heat pumps can reduce the cost of 1 kW of heat by 4 times compared to the use of natural gas.
Jack Lemmen from GTL-Europe explained that automated picking acceleration solutions tilting shelving, packing robots and robot harvesting, pointing system and scanbox) can save 63% of pickers’ work.
One of the brightest presentations was the analytical speech of Hajdú Csaba, a representative of Amycel. Polish mushroom growers have the opportunity to learn about their colleges in Spain, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and many other countries. For example, in Spain, 120,000 tons of mushrooms and up to 15 tons of oyster mushrooms and shiitake are grown. In Serbia – 5000-7000 tons. And in Greece, as we get knew from Csaba`s report, more oyster mushrooms than champignons is being produces – 2,500 compared to 950 tons per year.
The last presentation was dedicated to management and motivation.
The conference was attended by about 350 guests – and about 370 at a banquet organizes in honor of the 30th anniversary of Wokas.