Irish mushroom supplier Gold Circle Mushrooms has invested £6 million in a redundant farm in Fladbury, Worcestershire, in its first entry into the UK market.
The company has been granted planning permission to clear the old farm, previously owned and operated by Oakfield Mushrooms, and erect 28 new growing houses along with a new chilled packing and distribution facility.
Under a three-year plan to develop the new site, the 7,500 square metre chill chain and distribution facilities will be operational by May 2016, with the growing operation set to open in August.
The inital volume processed by the site will be 22 tonnes a week, increasing to 100 tonnes a week when the project is completed.
Denise Stock, Gold Circle Mushrooms’ general manager for the UK, said the Fladbury site also has the potential to supply depots in the south of England with produce from the Irish side of the business if necessary.
Gold Circle Mushrooms currently supplies around 6,000 tonnes a year from five sites in Ireland, into the retail, wholesale and foodservice sectors, Stock said, but the company is now looking for UK retailers to serve from its English site.
“Gold Circle plans to develop its current customer base and introduce new business that strives to support homegrown produce,” a spokesperson told FPJ.