Adelaide’s former Holden factory to become Australia’s largest exotic mushroom farm

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Australia’s largest exotic mushroom farm and processing facility is being established on the former Holden car manufacturing site in Adelaide, creating up to 350 jobs, according to the SA government.

The $110 million facility will produce more than 20,000 tonnes of exotic mushrooms and associated products each year.

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The Epicurean Food Group facility will manage all operations in one location, from growing fungi in a lab to turning second-grade and surplus mushrooms into burgers in a commercial kitchen.

Trade and Investment Minister Nick Champion said repurposing one of the state’s most revered manufacturing sites was proof the sector remained strong and adaptable.

The factory will produce more than 20,000 tonnes of exotic mushrooms and associated products each year. Credit: Supplied
More than 350 jobs are expected to be created when the factory is full complete. Credit: Supplied

“Few would have thought it possible transforming Holden’s old factory floor into a place where exotic mushrooms can be grown and cultivated but South Australians not only innovate, we lead the rest of the pack,” he said.

“Nothing like this facility exists interstate and we want to support local companies to expand and reach new customers on a national and global scale.”

The plant will provide a consistent supply of locally grown premium mushrooms to supermarkets and restaurants which rely heavily on imported stock. About 85 per cent of Australia’s exotic mushrooms come from overseas.

Specially designed growing rooms will be built to house thousands of oyster, shiitake, enoki, king oyster and lion’s mane exotic varieties in columns up to 13m high, as the development takes shape across multiple buildings over a 35,000 square metre footprint.

Mushroom burger patties are some of the types of products the factory will help produce. Credit: Supplied

Small-scale production is underway with six grow rooms nearing completion.

The facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2024 and will then include mycoprotein, used in alternative meats, and mycelium, used in leather goods.

Neither are manufactured on a commercial scale in Australia.

The old Holden factory in Adelaide was a major employer of South Australians, especially residents in Adelaide’s north. Credit: AAP

The Epicurean Food Group, which has a mushroom farm on SA’s Fleurieu Peninsula, supplies more than 40 independent retailers across Adelaide with plans to expand to major supermarket chains in SA and interstate over coming months and to international markets over the longer term.

“With the help of our supermarket partners, Australians will have easier access to some of the 20 uncommon and exotic mushroom varieties we cultivate as well as our wholesome mushroom burgers, balls, crumble, and sausages,” director Ken King said.

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