Farm Walks for the Banking Sector
Northway Mushrooms hosted two very successful farm walks in June to raise awareness and understanding of the mushroom industry to the banking Sector. Over 50 delegates attended the farm walks hosted by Frank Donnelly, Keenaghan Mushrooms – Moy and Eamon Murray, Orchard Mushrooms – Lurgan.
The farm walks highlighted to the banking sector the benefits of growers collectively marketing their mushrooms through a producer group to secure a stable price and the benefits of costing saving when buying as a group. A presentation was given outlining the benefits available through the PO including training, growing advice, capital investment programme and energy audits etc.
Brendan Burns gave an detailed presentation on the European Mushroom Industry and how Northern Ireland growers have the opportunity to expand and supply UK mulitples who want to buy British mushrooms. Brendan highlighted the benefits of using biomass fuel to replace conventional oil with woodchip 25 to 30% of the price of oil which mean’t a considerable cost saving for mushroom growers.
Feed back from representatives from the banking industry have been very positive and Northway plans to have further farmwalks and meetings to build upon the success of Frank and Eamon’s farm walks. David Wright from the Irish Farmers Journal attended the farm walk and the tag line in the paper describing the industry was – “Survival of the fittest in the mushroom sector – a producer organisation that provides a model for other sectors.”