The move forms the first truly pan-European mushroom producer and marketing structure, said C John Smith, Greyfriars MD.
“Poland has gained a reputation for producing exceptional quality low-cost mushrooms, and with the entry of Poland into the EU, an influx into the UK market is inevitable.
“While critics argue that Polish product will undermine the UK, this deal offers a two-fold benefit - retaining and building market share for British companies, while profits will be used to sustain the viability of the UK supply base so that a strategic proportion of volume is always available from viable UK farms.”
Okechamp has invested in a new 33,500 sq m operation in north-west Poland. Production runs at 170 tonnes of mushrooms a week year-round. The deal means Greyfriars now offers produce from Ireland, the UK, Holland and Poland.