That’s a Wrap: Highlights from 2023 Dutch Mushroom Days
The Japanese Exotic Mushroom Journal had it's debut at the 2023 Dutch Mushroom Days event from 5/10~5/12 and it did not disappoint. While the Netherlands is no longer the world's leading producer of mushrooms, the experience and manufacturing base of the Dutch Mushroom industry remains as strong as ever. The focus of the industry in Europe is still overwhelmingly button mushrooms (champignons), but the number booths at least partially focused on exotic mushrooms has continued to increase.
Japan has a similar level of experience, knowledge and specialized manufacturing base for exotic mushrooms. I have edited this journal with the image of the Netherlands strong in my mind: an image of what Japan with proper outreach and different regional partners could like. What's more, there were plenty of interesting ideas and techniques I saw while in Europe. This goes full circle to the other half of our ideal and that is finding ways for Japan to benefit from innovations elsewhere as well as share its own innovation.
Science is well-known for sharing, communication, cross-testing, expansive partnerships and so on. Those collaborative aspects are one of the reasons why science is so powerful and has been so successful at elevating human society, creating everything from nuclear bombs to commercial air travel to the internet. To often in industry every is crouching in a defensive posture, neither seeking advice or sharing their own ideas, even if it often means they are reinventing the wheel.
However, the more I spoke to guests to our booth and others at the event, the more convinced I was that the future of publishing is not just in pushing information. Just like coffee shops aren't really about the coffee anymore but having a place where you can sit and work or meet with people, in a word, a platform. Industry journals need to have good information, yes, but even more important is the network and the potential for collaboration.
2023 Mushroom Days was a crowded event. I exchanged over a hundred business cards! Walking around the crowded venture and seeing the massive scale of the button mushroom equipment and the elaborate stands of the major spawn companies really showed me the top levels of the industry. I hope that in the aftermath of the exhibition, many more growers will subscribe and help us continue to build this small, specialized network. Then, together, we can continue to work to build the exotic mushroom industry.