Harking back to its original Univeg roots as a mushroom supplier, Belgian fresh produce giant Greenyard has strengthened its position and opened up a new commercial avenue by acquiring Mykogen Group, a major supplier of the substrate raw material used by mushroom producers in Europe.
The group confirmed it had acquired the business from Abris Capital Fund II and renamed it as Greenyard Mycoculture.
As well as supplying substrates, Greenyard’s new acquisition offers advisory services to mushroom growers in Poland, Ukraine and other parts of Europe.
With the vast majority of its operations in Poland, Europe’s largest mushroom producer, it employs more than 300 employees and operates a total of four state-of-the art production facilities in Poland and Ukraine.
According to the group, Mykogen’s substrates are an essential element in the production of high-quality mushrooms to supply growing markets in central and eastern Europe.
As such, it said, the addition of Mykogen to Greenyard was expected to yield a number of important strategic benefits, including:
• Greenyard further enhances its direct connection to the grower by becoming a key supplier to the major mushroom growers.
• By deepening its involvement in the mushroom market, there will be opportunities for “cross-divisional synergies” among Greenyard’s Fresh, Frozen, Prepared and Horticulture divisions.
• Growing production volumes of the highly value-added substrates in Poland and Ukraine should benefit the group’s expansion.
Stefaan Vandaele, managing director of Greenyard’s Horticulture, division commented: “We welcome Mykogen as Greenyard Mycoculture in the Horticulture division. The knowhow with regards to substrates for mushroom growing allows us to further build on this attractive market throughout Europe and even beyond.”
He added: “The direct connection to the grower base we acquire with Mykogen is a further step in the strategic development of the mushroom activities for Greenyard’s Fresh, Frozen and Prepared divisions.”
Rafal Nawrocki, general manager of Greenyard Mycoculture, commented: “Within Greenyard we have new levels of reach and opportunities that can increase sales and accelerate further development.”