Mushroom Days exhibition in Holland 29th – 31st of May 2013. Visitor’s opinion
At the end of may 2013 me and my partner visited Mushroom Days exhibition in Holland. My last time at this exhibition was in the late 90-s of the past century. And I was interested in what had changed for the past time in holding Mushroom Days.
Theater starts from a coatrack, and the modesty of the exhibition starts from its main entrance.
The first thing to catch my eye was quite noticeable “depletion” of the representation of the mushroom production theme in whole, also this concerns the related fields.
Such areas as construction, mushroom protection against diseases and pests, recycling, expandable materials, sensors and controllers, working clothes, laboratories and others, - were not presented at all, or were presented in such a small volume, that they did not carry any practical value. In general, everything was reduced to the demonstration of a standard set of equipment and selling mycelium. Besides, in the past the list of participating countries was much more diverse. It seems that the crisis in Europe, we always hear about on TV, affects mushroom production, and at least the organizers of the exhibition.
Perhaps, the brightest moment was the display of the Polish company called Champion Group. When you talk to the representatives of this company, you think they never heard of the crisis in Europe. By the way, it is the only company which prepared not only brochures in Russian, but also provided Russian-speaking interpreters. One can draw interesting conclusions. Why did the Poles, who almost rocked all mushroom producers in Europe, do that? This company deserves respect for such a thorough elaboration of development perspectives. The conversation with the management of the Champion only added more respect and confidence in the fact that even if this company faces the crisis it will be the last one to suffer from it.
At the exhibition there were few visitors from Russia, but what kind of visitors they were!
In the center there is the director and the owner of the Moscow mushroom production school, Alexandr Vladimirovich Khrenov. If all roads lead to Rome, then all thoughts of mushrooms lead to him. To the right there is the head of the button mushroom complex ZAO Prinevskoe –Olga Konstantinova Selivanova. One can say that this person and her team (together with the founders of the button mushroom complex in the Moskovsky state farm) started the history of the industrial mushroom production in Russia.
And what has happened to the Dutch companies, favored by many mushroom-amateurs in Russia? In general, nothing happened. Large companies, like Christiaens Group, tried to brighten the commonality and the lack of novelty in its equipment with various free things and the scale of the rented areas. Of course, the name of the company (especially with the absence of equal competitors) and attraction of the majority of visitors towards free things did their work. The stand of the company had a lot of attention. A compost turner for clamps of the first phase looked especially monumental. Even despite the fact that modern technologies of the first phase compost preparation completely exclude this technological moment from the production process.
The stand of Christiaens Group. Unfortunately, I missed to take a picture of the main sightseeing – that compost turner. You can barely see it behind the shelves for growing mushrooms.
To be objective, I must mention a quite large, but young Dutch company producing equipment for mushroom production. It is Mush Comb. Products of this company are compatible with the products of Christiaens Group. Besides, the management of Mush Comb is a young man, Bob Holtermans, responds to wishes of a customer as much as possible, including financial matters. It is quite expectable that after getting enough experience in communication with people and keeping his ingenuousness and adequacy, Bob will raise the company up to an estimable level.
To the left there is Bob Olterman, the young owner of Mush Comb. This guy has everything to make it that way that in the recent future buyers of equipment in the Netherlands would turn to his firm first of all.
The small Belgian firm called Bonar deserved the best words, it decided to compete with a more famous firm, TenCate Nicolon. Products of these companies are different kinds of nets for tunnels of the 2nd and 3rd phases, for shelves for mushroom growing. Nets and textiles of this young company are as fine as the products of the well-known competitor. And its prices will attract anyone who is interested in this kind of products.
To the left there are representatives of the Bonar firm, the firm which challenged TenCate. The happy look of these people could possibly be explained by the fact that they understand what a “happy” life they will have.
As for the stands of other Dutch companies, unfortunately, after attending most of them, I got an impression that they were here due to some obligation; either they were amusing themselves because they were bored. But, fortunately, beer and other strong drinks were presented at the exhibition. Anyways, it was quite clear that the representatives of these companies did not connect their future with this exhibition at all.
As I mentioned above, there were only few firms of non-Dutch origin. My attention was attracted by two French companies. They were Amycel (the famous mycelium producer) and Sermatec (the producer of French mushroom equipment).
Currently there are two main mycelium producers in the world. These are Sylvan and Amycel companies. I managed to visit their production sites and get acquainted with the top management of both companies. I can say one thing – the products of both companies are worth being chosen. Decoration and representation were up to the mark, as usual. But on my subjective opinion, the stand of Amycel had more businesslike atmosphere. At the same time, the Stand of Sylvan had a spirit of some corporate party. It seemed to me that Hubert Hay, the head of Amycel in Europe, used the exhibition more for the benefit of the future of the company.
The representatives of Sermatec also deserve to be mentioned. I can say that it is quite possible that in the future my customers will buy equipment from this firm.
Brice Lacube, the technical representative of the French firm Sermatec, which produces equipment for compost preparation and mushroom growing. He represented the company very properly.
There were few visitors from Russia at the exhibition. This fact, actually, corresponds with the conditions of mushroom production in our country today. Besides, it could be very difficult to get objective, full information for solution of any set tasks even for the people who are in the know. As for first-timers who came just “to have a look”, it was quite difficult. The main conclusion about this exhibition (of course, it is just my personal opinion) – mainly, it is “a party” for people who are somehow related to mushroom production with all it implies. And, when attending such events, one must be prepared for the fact that the money may not be paid off by the results received (if one is interested in results), but it also can bring a headache, both literally and figuratively.
The overall view of the stands. The atmosphere of peace or a crisis…