Tyholland Mushrooms Opens New Mushroom Farm
August 16, 2010
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD officially opens new EUR12 million Monaghan Mushrooms plant.
New mushroom growing facility creates 150 jobs in Co. Monaghan. Later this morning (11.00hrs Monday, 16th August 2010) the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD will officially open a new EUR12 million state-of-the-art mushroom growing facility which has been built by Tyholland Mushrooms Limited, an associate company of Monaghan Mushrooms at their headquarters in Tyholland, on the outskirts of Monaghan town.
The new facility has created 150 jobs and is made up of 18 individual mushroom growing houses that together provide a total growing area of 21,306 square metres. When operating at full capacity, it will have an output of 115 tonnes of mushrooms per week, equal to an annual output of 5,980 tonnes, the vast proportion of which will be exported to the UK. In development since June 2009, the new facility can justly be regarded as the most modern development of its kind in Europe. Significantly larger and more productive than conventional mushroom growing tunnels, each unit is equipped with the latest technology used in mushroom production, features that include energy-efficient geothermal heating, cooling and humidification systems to guarantee a consistently high quality of product. Inside each of the 18 houses, compost is distributed automatically on to a fully automated system of racking which, if laid end to end, would span a distance of 15kms. Automated hydraulic trolleys enhance the picking process and reduce the time taken to prepare the product for delivery thereby ensuring that customers will be guaranteed fresher, better quality product. Its location adjacent to the company’s pack house – where mushrooms are boxed and prepared for delivery to customers – will be another key factor in delivering improved freshness and quality to customers.
With the coming on stream of this new facility, Monaghan Mushrooms will expand its overall output of mushrooms sufficient to enable the company to supply more mushrooms to the Irish and UK mushroom market. In the UK, the largest mushroom market in Europe, Monaghan Mushrooms holds a 45 percent share of the market which is valued in total at EUR 425million (Stg£350million). In Ireland, the company has a 17 percent market share. In meeting the challenge to increase exports to the UK, the contribution being made by its network of independent growers will continue to be an important element in the Monaghan Mushrooms supply chain. At present, the company supports a network of 27 independent growers located throughout Ireland. Looking ahead, the company expects these growers to have a pivotal role in maintaining supplies to the company and by assisting in the cultivation of exclusive varieties for which an increasing market exists. Founded in the 1981 by local entrepreneur Ronnie Wilson, Monaghan Mushrooms has grown to become Europe’s leading mushroom producer and a major Irish food exporter whose customers include all of the leading UK multiples. In addition to its base in Monaghan, the company has extensive operations in various locations throughout Ireland, the UK and has recently established a base in Canada from which it expects to develop a presence in the North American market. Between its operations in Ireland, UK and Canada, the company has a combined workforce of 2,297 employees.
Commenting, company founder and managing director Ronnie Wilson said that the new development would have a very positive impact on Monaghan Mushrooms by delivering even greater productivity and by strengthening its ability to service the needs of customers. Mr. Wilson also pointed to the benefit it will bring to the economy in Monaghan through the number of new jobs it will create. Built by Cavan-based contractors P. Elliott & Company Limited, the development is of aerated concrete block and steel frame construction whose environmental features include energy efficient heating and insulation, groundwater utilization system, a biodiversity management programme and a
full recycling and waste minimisation plan.
Designed by consulting engineers Barrett Mahony and architects ABRM, other firms involved in the project were Monaghan Electrical (electrical contractors) and Rogerson Reddan (project engineers). In a comment on the new facility Minister Smith said “Monaghan Mushrooms has been pioneers in the development of this industry and the new farm, Tyholland Mushrooms, is a state of the art mushroom growing plant. The Mushroom industry is worth in excess of EUR100 million per year and over 70% of that production is exported. This business has always been a market-led industry with a straightforward objective – that is, to keep fresh mushrooms on the supermarket shelves, when, how and where the customer wants. Living in a rapidly changing world, as we are, there is a need to change and adapt all the time and this is why the establishment of a dedicated Research and Development centre is such an important event. This will enable the Company to identify trends as they emerge and prepare for them and ultimately to anticipate and even direct the course of the industry”.