Industry Update ~  Issue 40 ~  July 2019
Industry Update is a monthly e-newsletter that forms part of the 
Industry  Communication project. I f you think we have missed anything, or you have any feedback on the articles,  we would be more than happy to hear from you.
Mushroom Marketing Highlights

Hort Innovation Marketing Manager Samantha Ferguson presented an update on marketing activities to the Strategic Industry Advisory Panel this week. Highlights included:
  • The current marketing channel approach, involving a combination of television, radio, out-of-home and digital advertising, showcasing the great taste, versatility, nod to health benefits of mushrooms and just how easy it is to use more with simple inspiration / recipes has proven successful in research. Key optimisations in media split, smarter targeting and an additional four weeks of activity achieved a 3% bump in campaign awareness.
  •  In the first half of 2019 the campaign delivered the following:
    • Television advertising appeared in eight out of the ten top rating programs;
    • Spotify - reach 114,623;
    • Street Furniture - reach 2,382,100;
    • Shopper retail - reach 2,855,891 from 480 panels;
    • Val Morgan retail - reach 3,126,320 from 566 panels;
    • Catch up television - impressions - 334,653 with a viewability of 93%; and
    • YouTube - impressions - 686,423, with the spaghetti creative proving the most popular with a completion rate of 86%. 
  • Social media activities included:
    • A range of engagements featuring Australian Mushrooms Ambassador, Miguel Maestre with recipes featuring in Woman's Day Magazine; 
    • The targeting of Melbourne media and influencers; 
    • The development of a new TRIBE social media campaign positioning mushrooms as the must-have inclusion in your winter warmer cooking;
    • Continuation of engagement through Facebook - impressions = 5.6 million / engagements = 179,000 likes, shares, clicks and views / engagement = 7% - and Instagram - impressions = 1.8 million / engagements = 187,000 likes, comments and saves / engagement = 15% (Figures - March - June). 
  • The Australian Mushrooms website was also relaunched in April. One benefit of the new website is that browsing time is up with users spending an average of 5 minutes on each recipe page!
A complete report on the marketing program will be included in the upcoming edition of the Australian Mushrooms Journal due for release in early September. This will include the latest media strategy and plan discussed in the SIAP, and how we are tackling short term and long term industry goals to increase demand.

AMGA appointment announced

The AMGA has announced the appointment of Martine Poulain to the position as Relationship and General Manager commencing on Monday 5 August 2019. Martine has a wealth of experience in membership and stakeholder engagement. 

During August and September, she will spend time meeting members and stakeholders to gain a further understanding of the industry and develop insights into ways in which the Association can assist members. An interview with Martine will be included in the next edition of the Australian Mushrooms Journal.

The ultimate Australian Masterclass

The AMGA is well advanced with plans to deliver the ultimate Australian Masterclass - Bridging the Compost / Growing Divide - to the Australian industry in October. Presented by Judy Allan, Mike Hill and Geoff Martin, the two-day course will be held at four locations over the following dates:
  • 11-12 October - Windsor, New South Wales;
  • 15-16 October - Melbourne, Victoria;
  • 17-18 October - Adelaide, South Australia; and
  • 23-24 October - Location to be confirmed, Queensland.
Attendees will gain an insight into the fundamentals of the composting and growing process leading to sustainable production of quality mushrooms. The course bridges the divide between specialist compost makers and growers and provides an understanding of the daily issues and problems faced. Topics include:
  • Overview of the Australian Mushroom Industry
  • Picking Techniques to Maximise Quality
  • Post Harvesting Handling Issues
  • The Perfect Spawn Run
  • Casing - A Soil Science Perspective
  • Casing Management
  • The Perfect Pin-set
  • Maximising Yield and Quality - Environmental factors
  • Understanding Phase 1 Composting - Organisms and Enzymes
  • The Seven Pillars of Composting Wisdom
  • Phase 2 - The Inside Perspective
  • Integrated Pest Management and Disease Prevention
For further details please contact the AMGA via email -

New Projects

The following projects have now been announced by Hort Innovation:
  • Australian Mushrooms crisis and risk management - MU18007
  • Feasibility of compost substrate alternatives for mushroom production - MU17007
  • Agri-technology investment opportunities in the mushroom industry - MU18002
  • Developing a database of bio-markers for compost quality control to maximise mushroom production yield - MU17006
  • Generation of data for pesticide permit applications in horticulture crops 2019/20 - MT18018
Further details on these projects will be provided in the next Australian Mushrooms Journal.

Strategic Investment Advisory Panel

The next meeting of the SIAP will take place in Melbourne from 30-31 July 2019. 

To stay up to date with SIAP activities, please use this  LINK  to view a full list of meeting summaries.  If you have any questions related to the operations of the SIAP please contact Hort Innovation Industry Relationship Manager, John Vatikiotis - 0429 022 637 or  via email .  
A snapshot of mushroom news

Mushrooms in the News is a quick snapshot of news relevant to mushrooms. It could be a great recipe, a healthy reference, some research findings or some mushroom industry coverage. When we find it we will post it to the site and include it in the Monthly Update. If you have any comments or find anything that has been missed, please email and let us know.

Straw demand set to continue Good quality barley straw is selling for up to $140 a tonne, with industry sources revealing widespread sales between $110-130/t. Even the coarser and less palatable wheat straw is selling in excess of $100/t. With the dry spell in northern Australia, the straw is now being used as part of the feed ration in conjunction with high protein feed sources, placing pressure on buyers looking to source straw for non-feed applications such as mushroom compost.

Research study on selenium A study presented to the American Association of Cancer Research has shown men with the highest selenium levels had more than a 60% reduced risk for advanced prostate cancer! Which is excellent news for mushroom lovers as mushrooms are a freely available leading source of selenium, with a 100gm serving providing about 1/2 of the daily recommended amount. The article goes on to highlight that mushrooms are a source of protein, contain a range of B vitamins and are rich in antioxidants.

Mushroom recipes that are simply magic Innovative, delicious, easy to cook mushroom recipes are a great way to encourage more people to eat more mushrooms more often. This time it is the Gourmet Traveller website offering its readers a range of deliciously mushroomy options that are sure to tempt and delight, ranging from Chinese-style chicken stir-fry through to baked mushrooms with hazelnuts and golden shallots. Enjoy!

Shiitake mushroom complaint reconsidered by Commerce Commission (NZ) -  The New Zealand Commerce Commission is investigating whether some exotic mushrooms sold in supermarkets and high-end restaurants as "New Zealand grown" are being imported from China. The country's largest mushroom producer Meadow Mushrooms, - along with other smaller growers - imports growing logs already inoculated with shiitake spawn from China. When harvested a few weeks after arrival, the products are sold as "Mushrooms of New Zealand." The Commerce Commission has said previously there were no "hard and fast rules" to determine whether a product was New Zealand made or grown and relied on whether the claim was likely to be misleading to New Zealand consumers.

Summer campaign promotes blending mushrooms and veal (US) -  The American mushroom industry has implemented a summer campaign blending mushrooms and veal. The promotion is a partnership between the Mushroom Council and the North American Meat Institute, with participating stores selling specially marked packs of veal featuring Grilled Blended Meatballs with Sweet Teriyaki Glaze. The program offers an on-pack recipe label at the point-of-purchase, which adds value for the consumer and retailer alike.

Blended Burgers now on menus in all 50 states (US) -  Blended burgers may not be a trend in Australia, but in America blended burgers are now available on restaurant menus in all 50 states. As part of the James Beard Foundation's Blended Burger Project, more than 400 restaurants are currently serving burgers featuring blended chopped mushrooms with any ground protein in at least a 25%/75% ratio. According to the US Mushroom Council, the blended trend is taking hold.

Mushroom farms face worker shortage (Canada) -  Finding and keeping employees is a growing problem for mushroom farms, with this report highlighting a 20% job vacancy rate for Canadian mushroom farms. The article suggests the job vacancy rate has almost doubled in the last two years in spite of vigorous job outreach and ongoing advertisements highlighting competitive wages and benefits.

Additional links of interest:


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