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Operating a successful low-tech, small scale mushroom farm.

Operating a successful low-tech, small scale mushroom farm.
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Kellogg 44
Nov 2021

Executive Summary

This business concept works to research the potential outcome of starting and operating a successful low-tech, small scale specialty mushroom farm in the North Island of New Zealand. It is a short overview of a new business venture idea that will be further expanded into a business plan once the concept has proved probable.

Starting in Northland, the long-term idea is to be able to move around and transport the mushroom farm accordingly. The farm will be producing oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) for the first year and introduce more specialty varieties in the following years, such as Shiitake (Letinula novae-zealandiae) and Enoki (Flammulina velutipes).

The report explores the possible outcome of a successful mushroom farm by:

  • Understanding the NZ mushroom industry dynamics and the market demand for speciality mushroom varieties and potential trends that are on the rise
  • Potential challenges and risks that could arise and ways to mitigate them
  • Gaining insight into the requirements needed to start the farm and the DIY options for establishing a producing fruiting room
  • Other profitable ventures that arise from the production of fungi.

The New Zealand mushroom industry is small but well established. With only one fully integrated commercial mushroom farm in the country and multiple, small at home start-ups selling gourmet mushroom varieties, the industry is not yet overly saturated in terms of low-tech start-ups.

The vision is to be a major supplier of quality specialty variety mushrooms in Northland and expand into the rest of the North Island. To achieve the set vision, the intention is to practice low tech farming practices by growing edible gourmet mushrooms in a controlled environment and using locally sourced substrates as much as possible.


The recommendations will show the most achievable way to reach the goal of a successful mushroom farm is to work with small harvests with high quality fruit. The farm can be built by DIY practises that suit the grower and help to keep the costs down.

Our programmes work in partnership with some of New Zealand’s leading agribusiness organisations – click here for more.​