Canada is the eighth largest mushroom producer in the world, but you won’t see fields of mushrooms stretching across the horizon. Instead, the vast majority of mushrooms in the Great White North are grown indoors on shelves in climate-controlled warehouses, enabling producers to grow mushrooms year-round.
Canadian mushroom growers sold a record high 151,894 short tons of mushrooms in 2021, up 3.9% from a year earlier and 20.2% higher compared with 2015. In case you’re wondering, one short ton equals 2,000 pounds. Another way of putting it is that Canadian farmers grew enough mushrooms to make 1.2 billion all-dressed pizzas.
Over 90% of the mushrooms sold in Canada were fresh while 8.7% were processed.
The vast majority (87.9%) of total mushroom area reported by farms in Canada was dedicated to growing white and brown button (Agaricus) mushrooms, with nearly half grown in British Columbia (48.0%). Farmers also reported growing shiitake, portobello and oyster mushrooms.
Farmers received $653.5 million for their fresh and processed mushrooms in 2021, up 5.5% from a year earlier and over double (+138.4%) what they received in 2001.
Availability of fresh mushrooms in decline, though they remain more popular than the canned variety
Our food availability release, which tracks the amount of food physically present in a country for consumption, show that 1.7 kilograms of fresh mushrooms per person were available for consumption in Canada in 2021. This was down from 1.9 kilograms a year earlier and almost one kilogram less compared with a decade earlier, when 2.6 kilograms were available per person.
Judging by availability, Canadians are not big fans of canned mushrooms, with less than one standard can of mushrooms available per person in 2021.
Canada exporting more mushrooms, with almost all going to the United States
Canada exported 67,937 short tons of button mushrooms in 2021, up 8.9% from a year earlier, with almost all going to the United States (99.3%).
British Columbia has the largest mushroom area nationally
The Census of Agriculture counted 264 mushroom farms in 2021, down from 305 five years earlier. There were at least three mushroom farms in every province in 2021, with Ontario (89), Quebec (87) and British Columbia (40) home to the most farms.
Over 5,500 people worked on a mushroom farm in 2021, with 4,692 working full time and 875 part time. Over four out of every five mushroom farm employees in 2021 worked in Ontario or British Columbia.
Farms in British Columbia reported a 50.8% increase in mushroom area in 2021 to 3.4 million square feet, surpassing Ontario to become the province with the largest mushroom area in Canada. Larger farms (those with $2 million and over in revenues) accounted for 90.4% of the reported mushroom area in British Columbia.
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