Demand for mushrooms prompts growth

At the official opening of Annaghmore Mushrooms new premises were Glyn Roberts (Chief Executive of NIIRTA), Gerry Walsh (Chairman of the 2013 All-Ireland and UK Mushroom Conference and Trade Show), David Small (Deputy Secretary of DARD) and Eamon Murray (Managing Director of Annaghmore Mushrooms).
At the official opening of Annaghmore Mushrooms new premises were Glyn Roberts (Chief Executive of NIIRTA), Gerry Walsh (Chairman of the 2013 All-Ireland and UK Mushroom Conference and Trade Show), David Small (Deputy Secretary of DARD) and Eamon Murray (Managing Director of Annaghmore Mushrooms).

Lurgan-based company Annaghmore Mushrooms has unveiled its new state-of-the-art premises as part of a £1 million investment in the business.

With demand for locally produced mushrooms spiralling, the independent family-owned business has increased staff numbers from six to 16 with further plans to grow that number by a further 10.

The company founded by mushroom grower Eamon Murray in 2006 markets and distributes top quality locally grown mushrooms throughout the UK and Ireland.

The mushroom crop range includes brown, button, closed cap, flat and Portobello varieties, grown by a team of specialised growers known collectively as Northway Mushrooms, which are proving popular with consumers who cannot get enough of what is now recognised as a ‘super-food’.

In response to this demand, the company has invested more than £700,000 into new technologies and quality processes to improve its cold chain supply – the most important element of which is a high tech pack-house which has an advanced cooling system to keep the product fully chilled within an hour of picking.

The company investment was supported by grant assistance of £286,000 by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development through the EU Processing & Marketing Grant Scheme. Annaghmore received additional support from Invest NI.

“This investment is crucial in maintaining the quality and freshness of the product for longer, resulting in an extended shelf life,” said Annaghmore Mushrooms managing director Eamon Murray.

“We are constantly investing in modern, efficient equipment and packaging and are committed to ongoing improvement as we grow our business in response to the growing demand for our mushrooms.”

The home market is strongest for Annaghmore with 95% of its products being distributed in Britain and Northern Ireland with five per cent supplying retail outlets in the Republic of Ireland.