Second largest mushroom supplier to the UK acquires Golden Mushrooms

The second largest mushroom supplier to the UK marketplace, Walsh Mushrooms Group, has acquired the business and assets of Golden Mushrooms.

Walsh Mushrooms Group, which was founded in Gorey in Co. Wexford in 1979, has operations in Ireland and the UK in compost manufacture, mushroom growing, marketing and distribution.

The group’s acquisition of one of Ireland’s top mushroom growers comes amid on-going volatility in the sector in the wake of Brexit.

Walsh Mushrooms Group currently markets over 26,000t of mushrooms per year, accounting for over 15% of the total UK mushroom market.

The acquisition brings total group employee numbers to 380 people across four sites in Ireland and the UK, while it boosts the groups own production capability to 140t of mushrooms per week.

The last seven months have been incredibly difficult but the group is confident that the sector will overcome the challenge created by Brexit, Padraic O’Leary, Managing Director, Walsh Mushrooms said.

Vitali Shastak, Production Manager Walsh Mushrooms Golden Ltd and Padraic O’Leary, Managing Director, Walsh Mushroom Group.

“The fact is that mushrooms are the second largest vegetable category in the UK, yet the market is not self-sufficient and needs to import 50% of their mushroom requirement.

“A long-standing, strong relationship exists between our markets and we are confident that ultimately the UK will return a more sustainable price for Irish mushrooms reflecting the new, post Brexit, foreign exchange rates,” he said.

Golden Mushrooms

Founded by Michael and Marian Bergin, Golden Mushrooms began operating on a site outside the village of Golden in Tipperary in 1998.

The business quickly grew to become a significant producer in the Irish market employing 90 people and achieving turnover of over €5m.

The business is set to continue trading as Walsh Mushrooms Golden Ltd and the fact that the employees will continue to work under the new ownership is a huge benefit, according to Michael Bergin.

“We are proud to have grown a successful business from scratch and are delighted to see it, and our loyal employees, continue to operate under the new ownership of Walsh Mushrooms Group.

We have worked closely with Walsh Mushrooms Group for the last 15 years and greatly respect their continued support and confidence in the Irish mushroom industry.

Meanwhile, O’Leary, believes that this acquisition will serve to further strengthen the Walsh Mushrooms Group, building on the group’s recent investments in production and packaging facilities in the UK.

“Golden Mushrooms has grown into a successful business over the last 18 years and we have long admired the production facilities and staff.

“Their strong commitment to sustainability, with the presence of a biomass facility on site, was key for us and strongly aligns with our group environmental policy,” he said.