17 Feb 2011

Mushroom co. shuts shop in Waikato, expands in south

7:18 am on 17 February 2011

The country's biggest mushroom producer Meadow Mushrooms has expanded its operation in Canterbury as it closes down its North Island operation in Waikato.

The Governor General officially opened the $45 million dollar expansion of its plant on the outskirts of Christchurch on Wednesday.

Meadow Mushrooms is decommissioning its mushroom factory at Morrinsville this week, with the loss of 180 jobs.

The decision to close that operation was made last year after an Environment Court ruling to eliminate objectionable odours at the plant.

Meadow Mushrooms chairman Philip Burdon says it has consolidated its mushroom growing operations at the expanded Christchurch site.

Odour issues and complaints from the local community also dogged the Canterbury mushroom operation in its earlier days but Mr Burdon says those problems have been resolved.

Techniques include composting in specialist buildings to capture and treat any contaminants.