Gabriel (Spawnmaker) explaining Ital production process
Recently IPP Limited organised a visit for Irish composters to visit the mushroom industry in Italy. The visit proved to be very successful and gave many people some fresh ideas and innovations to help the Irish mushroom Industry.
Farm visit n° 1
Farm: FUNGHI VALBRENTA
History: Started in 1987 from an old engine factory
Manager: Mr BRUNO BUSNARDO
Production: 21 rooms of different size for a global growing surface of 10700 m2. 60 workers 8 pickers included).2000 tonnes mushrooms a year , 90 % white and 10% brown. The market is mostly in north Italy and 70% goes on supermarket, 10 % on gross market and 20 % to cannery
Compost: 320 tonne of phase 2 a week. 6 phase two tunnels and 2 phase three tunnels all of 105 m2. Schedule: 4/5 days pre-wetting 12 days phase 1 mixing it 2-3 times 6 days phase two 14/16 days phase three
Strain used: F58 for white and FB30 for brown
Equipment: Computer:Gicom Machinery Alpi Projects: New farm of 20 rooms (dutch type) on building which will start production on next September. Other 10 rooms to build within one year. Size of these rooms 396 m2
Farm visit n° 2
Farm: Azienda Agricola FUNGHI D’ORO Owner: Mr ROMEO FUSER Working since 1994 History: Owner worked 5 years in another mush farm, and then other 5 years in Agrifung (compost yard) On 94 he started this new farm Manager: Romeo Fuser and Lucio Pizzolato Production: rooms weekly loaded with this schedule 2/2/1/2/2/1 Production roughly 15 tonnes a week mostly for fresh and supermarket Compost: 25 tonnes/week all phase 3 from Billio and Agrifung. Automatic filling with Casing and cacing compost at the same time Strain used: 50% Italspawn F58 and 50% Sylvan A15 Equipment: Computer: no computer Fan: Italian Machinery Cristiaens and Officine Alpi News: This farm works in a cooperative Projects: Enlarging 2 rooms
Farm visit n° 3
Farm FUNGICOLTURA BILLIO (compost yard) Owner family Billio (8 persons) Working since 1980 History On 1980 they started with 6 tunnel of phase 2 and 3. At that time the compost was sold in bags and phase one was not in tunnel. On 1985 other 8 new tunnel has been added mostly for phase two. On 1995 all the composting system has been changed from “traditional” to “fully indoor”, 16 new tunnels has been built 8 for phase one and 8 for phase two and three. Actually, due to an always more demand of phase three compost (in Italy we’re around 95%, meanwhile abroad they still use blocks on phase two), other 8 tunnels are built and they’ll start working on the beginning of year 2002. From 2002 there will be 38 tunnels working. Manager Mr Franz Vogelzangs Production 1400 ton/week phase 1 compost. 80% will be sold as phase 3 (of which 40% loose) and the rest phase 2 (all in blocks). Market Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia Strain used 70% Italspawn F58, F40, F50 30% Sylvan A15 Equipment Machinery mostly Christiaens (tunnel equipment, conveyors) Christifloor (walking floor on indoor tunnels) Alpi (blocking machine) Computers Fancom Schedule 80/85% straw and rest horse manure Day 0 premixing Day 2 filling indoor tunnel Day 7 mixing (unload and refill tunnel) Day 9 unload tunnel and store fresh compost Day 13 filling phase two tunnel Day 17/19 spawning and filling phase three tunnel or to blocking machine.
Farm visit n° 4
Farm ITALSPAWN (spawn plant)
In 1952 Sartor’s family built FUNGHI DEL MONTELLO (Montello Mushrooms), the biggest & most modern mushroom farm in Italy at that time with a growing area of 11500 m2 (now it is 23000 m2). In 1960 a small laboratory (King spawn) inside the facility was built in order to produce the spawn required by F.M. and other farms in the region.
Due to the increased demand of spawn from local farmers and the limited capacity of King Spawn, in 1977 Valentino Lois SARTOR built ITALSPAWN. The starting capacity was around 150,000 litres per year and it was built at Treviso some 30 miles north of Venice.
In 1982 the area of the laboratory was increased to 3500m2 and in July 1998 another 2500 m2 was added to give an total area of about 6000 m2 now. Current capacity is about 9.5 million litres of spawn per year.
The group were shown around all aspects of the spawn plant, very openly and this is what was observed during the visit.
We were told that one of the most important things in a spawn laboratory was the system set up to keep perfectly sterile all the places where the spawn is made before the bagging process. We could see that Italspawn achieved a very high standard in hygiene proved by the almost insignificant level of discard each year. This standard was guaranteed by the presence of 3 level of absolute filters for the air in the inner part of the laboratory, an overpressure continuously kept 24 hours a day in the most critical rooms, tests of the air each 20 minutes to reveal presence of bacteria or spores and, above all, the limited presence of human factor in the inoculum room by the complete automatisation of the line.
All the strains they sell in the market are the result of a natural breeding between different pure cultures. No genetic modification is applied in their laboratory to create new strains, even though some new techniques of the genetic science are used to check the presence of modifications of the DNA or virus in the mycelium cells.
All the mother cultures are checked with the most advanced technology both in their laboratory and in other scientific institute in the world to guarantee the growers to obtain always the purest and strongest product possible. In more than 20 years of history, no cases of degeneration have been recorded in their commercial products by their customers.
All the different phases of the process are always checked in order to verify the parameters laid out for a high quality standard of product. From the raw material to the spawn itself there is a chain of 25 different tests of the goods, the last one being the growing test in their own small facility.
The Market is the King
Italspawn say that the most selective test is done by the market, and it is a fact that they have been able in 24 years to expand their market world-wide. The competition in the mushroom industry is always stronger but Italspawn has always increased the number of customers. This is good proof that the quality of their spawn is very high and this is in turn the best guarantee for the grower to get good results.
We would on behalf of the group like to thank Italspawn for their kind hospitality on this visit and gaining access to farms, compost yards and not least to their complete openness in looking around their spawn plant which all the people who came agreed was very professional in the way it is run.
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