“We’ve seen a consistent growth in the organic market, but it still is less than 5% of the category,” he said.
Giorgio Foods Inc., Temple, Pa., grows organic white, baby bella and portabella mushrooms and sources other varieties, said Bill Litvin, vice president of sales and national account manager.
“Our organic business is showing double digit sales growth,” he said.
One company that focuses on organic mushrooms is Gourmet Mushrooms Inc., Sebastopol, Calif.
“All of our mushrooms are organic,” said Bob Engel, chef liaison.
That has been an important consideration primarily on the retail level, he said. Whole Foods Market is the company’s largest retail partner.
In foodservice, chefs are more concerned with quality than whether their mushrooms are organically grown, he said.
The company grows on a substrate that consists mostly of sawdust and agricultural byproducts.
“The change to organic involved mostly paperwork and tracking rather than any change in our systems or techniques,” Engel said.
Gourmet Mushrooms is able to keep its prices in line thanks to efficient growing practices, he said.
The company was certified organic in 2003.