Avondale, PA – Those small button mushrooms in the produce aisle pack a big economic punch, according to a report released today by the American Mushroom Institute. The Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the Mushroom Industry report shows the U.S. mushroom industry has an economic impact of $3.1 billion, through sales of mushrooms, supplies and other indirect spending. The report coincides with National Agriculture Day designed in part to highlight the significant role agriculture plays in maintaining a strong economy.
“Mushrooms are truly hidden treasures for state and local economies across the country,” said AMI Executive Director Rachel Roberts referencing the fact that mushrooms are not grown in fields but instead in enclosed structures.
According to the report, in 2018, total mushroom industry sales – including direct mushroom sales and the sale of inputs required to produce mushrooms – totaled $1.6 billion. From those sales, the mushroom industry generated an additional $1.5 billion in indirect and induced spending, for a total impact of more than #3.1 billion. The industry supports 21,000 jobs with $864 million in wages.
Indirect spending represents the impact when mushrooms farms purchase goods and services from local vendors who then in turn require additional purchasing with their own vendors. Induced spending reflects the money spent by mushroom industry employees on various goods and services. The total economic impact of the mushroom industry is the sum of its own direct economic footprint and the indirect and induced effects generated by that direct footprint.
Last year, 917 million pounds of mushrooms were harvested across the U.S, down slightly from 929 million pounds in 2017, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The dip was due in large part to the ongoing challenge of an adequate agriculture workforce, trucking and healthcare costs.
“Mushrooms growing is highly labor intensive,” Roberts explained. “Like all agriculture, the mushrooms industry is facing a labor shortage.”
At the same time, consumer demand for fresh mushrooms is on the rise. A key driver (and indicator) of this increase is the growing positive sentiment around their nutrition, sustainability and flavor benefits. At retail, the mushroom category ended 2018 with a 5.4% increase in pounds sold from 2017, In addition to its health benefits, mushrooms are also naturally sustainable, with much of the growing medium recycled for other industries, crops and commercial uses.
“From their health benefits to sustainability properties and economic impact, mushrooms and the farmers who grow them are an integral part of our nation’s agriculture community.” Roberts said.
The Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the Mushroom Industry was authored by Econsult Solutions, Inc., Philadelphia, PA, and measures the economic impact of the mushroom industry in Pennsylvania and nationally.
The American Mushroom Institute (AMI), headquartered in Avondale, Pennsylvania, is a national voluntary trade association representing the growers, processors and marketers of cultivated mushrooms in the United States and industry suppliers worldwide. For more information, visit www.americanmushroom.org.