Local Mushroom Industry Digs Up Solutions to Supply Chain Snags and Labor Shortages

fingers holding a mushroom
Image via Yoshiko De Wit at Creative Commons.
Local mushroom farmers face a the perfect storm of seasonal demand, nationwide shipping delays, and a scarcity of labor.

The local mushroom businesses have been working steadfastly to overcome the persistent supply chain issues and labor shortages. These snags have challenged the industry nationwide, writes Jen Samuel for the Daily Local News.

Overall, the mushroom industry in Pennsylvania is dealing with a labor shortage of around 25 percent. This issue existed before the pandemic, but COVID-19-related shutdowns have only compounded matters.

In Chester County, some mushroom businesses currently face a shortage of around a third of their workforce as winter approaches.

“The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for mushrooms, and this year is no different,” said Rachel Roberts, president of the American Mushroom Institute in Avondale. “However our members are telling us that they are facing challenges acquiring the raw materials needed to grow mushrooms, are experiencing increased costs, all with a small labor market.”

To make up for this, some farms are working 24/7 on harvesting, packing, and shipping mushrooms.

Meanwhile, to deal with supply chain challenges, some businesses are being forced to order twice what they normally need to ensure sufficient reserves to weather possible future delivery issues.

Read more about the current challenges of the local mushroom industry in the Daily Local News.

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