History of CMP
CMP was established in 1999 as a horticultural producers organisation under European Union legislation. In the 1990s the Irish mushroom industry rapidly expanded and by 1996 the number of mushroom growers peaked at almost 600. CMP was established as a co-operative by mushroom growers for mushroom growers, and to deliver stability to the market by improving the quality of mushrooms, maintaining the consistency of supply and getting a sustainable margin for producers.
At the beginning, CMP had 266 growers, and its’ first programme ran from 2000 – 2004. At that time in Ireland, many other small groups of mushroom growers began to set up producer organisations. Many of these smaller groups found it very difficult to survive and overtime closed down, with their members joining CMP. During the last decade, there was a significant rationalization of the Irish mushroom industry during which time grower numbers fell to current levels of approximately 18.
Due to CMP’s programme of consistent improvements since 1999 the farm gate value of mushroom output has remained constant despite very stiff competition from Europe and volatile exchange rates at €100m. Currently, 85% of PO production is marketed to UK Multiples through our network of marketing agents.
Mushrooms are a very nutritious, versatile, healthy and tasty food and a key ingredient in many dishes. There is a range of mushroom types.
How are Mushrooms produced
Mushrooms are a perishable product with a relatively short shelf life. The ‘best before’ date is five – seven days after harvesting. They are produced 52 weeks a year and are grown on specially manufactured substrate/compost. A layer of peat is added to the top of the compost that acts as an interface between the compost and the air. The peat provides the conditions necessary for mushroom pin heads to form and grow into the mushrooms we see in the shops. It also provides a reservoir of water essential for crop growth.