Te Mata Mushrooms
174 Brookvale Road
P.O. Box 8137
Phone: 64 6 877 7266
Fax: 64 6 877 6980
Situated on the outskirts of Havelock North in the heart of Hawkes Bay, Te Mata Mushrooms is New Zealand's second largest Mushroom growing company. Picking on average 22-23 tonnes of mainly white Agaricus Bisporus button mushrooms per week. The mushrooms are marketed and sold through out the North Island.
The farm produces its own compost of approx 100 tonnes per week with
Two Phase 1 Compost Bunkers
Two Phase 2 Pasteurisation Tunnels
5 Spawn Rooms
And has 19 growing rooms
The country's second-biggest mushroom grower has a lot to offer Hastings. As well as contributing to the regional economy and employing more than 110 people, its byproduct - compost - ensures the district's parks and gardens flourish.
Te Mata Mushrooms was started in Havelock North in 1967 by Stuart Speeden and Phil Hawley. Their sons Martin and Michael Speeden and Chris Hawley are now joint directors and have been running the business for more than three decades.
Te Mata supplies mushrooms throughout the North Island. Its biggest customer is Foodstuffs. Hawke's Bay restaurant owners and locals buy their mushrooms direct from the farm or at the Hastings farmers' market, where the men have had a stall since it started in 2000.
They have tried several varieties of mushroom but now specialise in just the white button and Portobello (brown) varieties.
About 21 tonnes of mushrooms are produced by the plant each week. The business employs 15 full-time and 100 part-time staff - many of whom work 40-hour weeks. Christmas is the only day mushrooms are not picked.
The business has an annual turnover of $5 million.
Each director has a specific responsibility. Martin takes care of the growing, Michael looks after the packing shed and administration, and Chris takes care of the composting.
"It works very well. Staff is really the big thing, having reliable staff. Some have been here for more than 30 years," says Michael.
The company's location is ideal in terms of proximity to Auckland and Wellington, and in terms of climate, with Hawke's Bay's low humidity providing ideal mushroom-growing conditions.
Temperature and humidity as well as quality of compost are vital components for mushrooms, which are grown from imported spawn in 19 growing sheds depending on their stages.
It takes 12 1/2 weeks to grow a mushroom from scratch, with new crops put down each week.
Producing the compost is one of their biggest expenses, with straw costing about $500,000 a year. Chicken manure, water and gypsum are added to the straw to make the compost. Compost is constantly changed to ensure the mushrooms are disease free.
Farm fresh mushrooms are available from our shop at our shop at 174 BROOKVALE ROAD, HAVELOCK NORTH.