Supermarket mushroom sales in the UK rose 1.5% in volume and 3.4% in value in the UK last year, according to the latest figures from the Mushroom Information Bureau provided by Taylor Nelson Sofres. This gives them an estimated 87.3% market share by value, one the the highest in the fresh produce sector. The total market is valued at £350m, with the fresh element accounting for £250m. UK production has fallen about 10% in the past year, but imports are up by 5%, with the Dutch recording an increase of 10%. Main sources are Great Britain 57 million kg, Republic of Ireland 36 million kg; Northern Ireland 14 million kg, and Europe (Holland, Belgium and France) 48 million kg. However, MIB says that while revenue is up because of growth, prices are down because prepacks, which account for 55% of sales, are being increasingly used for promotions. The largest sector, buttons and closed cups, are marginally down from 69.6% to 68.1%, with flats and opens ­ where there is a British shortage ­ also showing a slight decrease to 2.9%. Exotic mushrooms, which include browns, have risen by 1.2% to 3.9%. Organic production is up but availability of the right type of straw and chicken manure will be a problem when the industry has to conform to new rules. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}