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Home » Food & Agriculture » The sustainability journey – acting responsibly, thinking sustainably

Paul Wilson

Chief Executive, Monaghan Mushrooms

As the world’s population continues to grow, food producers are under pressure to develop more sustainable methods of producing food.

With the world becoming more globalised, it is important to be mindful as consumers want to know where our food is coming from and how it is produced. All of these factors contribute to our food’s footprint. Paul Wilson, CEO at Monaghan explains how sustainability is at the very heart of their business, which focusses on growing mushrooms for a natural future.

“Mushrooms are an inherently low carbon, zero waste food but our commitment to sustainability stretches far beyond our products. Although emissions from mushrooms are low compared to other foods, we have put an ambitious plan in place to take this further and reduce our emissions by over 50% over the next 10 years. We are committed to lowering their impact across every facet of our operations.”

Circular bioeconomy

Mushroom producers have been vertically farming for decades. Mushrooms are perfectly suited to vertical farming because they don’t need lots of land, water or light to grow, which not only saves farming space but also reduces CO2 emissions and the need for pesticides.

Wilson explains their unique agri circular economy: “The raw materials used to manufacture mushrooms are recycled naturally from the outset. We believe that goodness in, equals goodness out—that the mushrooms we grow are only as good as the substrate they’re grown from. Mushrooms are grown on sustainably produced substrate, which uses straw leftover from grain production. Once mushrooms have been harvested for example, the spent substrate is used as soil conditioner, contributing to improved soil health and reducing the need to use artificial fertilisers. For example, spent mushroom substrate can be used as nitrogen fertiliser on cereal fields.”

He continues on how water is controlled at every stage of production, “Crop irrigation is carried out with precision by the use of a specialised computer system ensuring only the volume of water required by the crop is applied to the mushroom bed by following a water use blueprint. We’re proud to be part of this exciting smart farming revolution and we continuously adapt our processes to be the most efficient means of production.

Mushrooms are one of the very few non-animal sources of Vitamin D.

A powerful source of health and nutrition

Mushrooms are one of the very few non-animal sources of Vitamin D, and the company has been dedicated to the improvement and identification of such exciting new processes, services, concepts and products. From farm to fork, their research covers every aspect of the food supply chain and beyond.

Wilson continues: “We are a forward-thinking company, committed to discovering new and better ways to do what we do. Our research and development department, MBio, is working to meet the challenges of global food security by creating new foods and ingredients from the whole mushroom. These ingredients are packed full of health benefits to nourish consumers in markets around the world.”

Reducing carbon footprint

Farming heavily contributes to our carbon footprint. Increasingly people are looking to cut down their meat consumption and turn to vegetarian or vegan options. Many of the meat free products on the market today are highly processed. Monaghan are responding to this demand by launching a new mushroom-based meat free brand in the UK and Irish market.

The range is designed to cater to flexitarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike, providing a solution to shoppers in search for sustainable alternatives.

The products are made with mushrooms, which are full of good for you vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The range is very healthy; a source of fibre and protein, low in salt and sugar, as well as gluten free. This sustainable food range is also good for the planet in that it is completely soy and pea protein free.

All stats and research discussed in the article is from Monaghan.
For more information about Meat Alternatives – Monaghan, contact
Kate Scott by emailing [email protected]

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