Australian-first exotic mushroom farm pops up at old Holden site

31 Jan 2023
Adelaide is set to become the exotic mushroom capital of Australia with the establishment of the nation’s largest exotic mushroom farm and processing facility at the former GM Holden site, creating hundreds of jobs.
The $110 million facility will produce more than 20,000 tonnes of exotic mushrooms and mushroom products each year and employ 350 full-time staff once fully completed – expanding from 31 staff currently working on site.
The new facility, run by Epicurean Food Group, is Australia’s only vertically integrated mushroom plant and manages all operations in one location – from growing fungi in a lab to turning mushrooms into burgers using a high-tech commercial kitchen.
It will provide a consistent and valuable supply of locally grown premium mushrooms to supermarkets and restaurants which rely heavily on imported stock, with about 85 per cent of Australia’s exotic mushroom supply coming from overseas.
South Australia already accounts for 17 per cent of Australia’s mushroom production – and this unique, large-scale approach will help drive that figure up, fix a fractured supply chain and capitalise on shrooms’ surging popularity across the country.
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 13 metres high, as the development takes shape across multiple buildings – spanning a 35,000sqm footprint – in a revitalised Lionsgate Business Park.
Epicurean Food Group moved to the site after expanding from its first mushroom farm in Bull Creek on the Fleurieu Peninsula, supported by the South Australian Government.
Small-scale production is underway as the first stage of the project comprising six grow rooms nears completion, with all five stages expected to be finished by the end of 2024.
Notably, stage five includes the production of mycoprotein (used in alternative meats) and mycelium (used in leather goods) – neither are currently manufactured on a commercial scale in Australia and there is significant global interest in these products in billion-dollar markets around the world.
Epicurean Food Group currently supplies more than 40 independent retailers across Adelaide, including Foodland, with plans to expand to major supermarket chains in SA and interstate over the coming months and overseas exports a long-term goal.