Canadian Mushrooms

Treasures of Farm and Forest

Mushrooms have been on the human menu for thousands of years, and the early cultivated variety—the white button mushroom—is now a familiar sight in grocery stores around the world. In recent years, it has been joined by portabella, brown and various specialty mushrooms, many of which Canada exports.

Canada is one of the world's largest exporters of fresh mushrooms.

Kitchen delights

Mushrooms contribute to many cuisines, and add flavour and character to a huge range of stews, soups, casseroles sauces, salads and side dishes. Their taste intensifies as they are cooked, and they can be sautéed, grilled, baked, stir-fried or braised.

As a main ingredient, they are endlessly adaptable—prosciutto-wrapped mushrooms, mushroom risotto, mushroom tortellini or balsamic mushrooms will add distinction to any table. They are ideal for vegetarian dishes because of their meaty texture and flavour, and dried mushrooms, infused in water, create a delicious stock.

But there is more to mushrooms than their unique flavours. They are also very healthy, with almost no fat or cholesterol, few calories or carbohydrates, and little sodium. They are a good source of riboflavin, niacin and other vitamins, and provide both essential and trace minerals such as iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and selenium.

A varied harvest

White button, brown button and portabella mushrooms account for most of Canada's commercial crop. The white variety is mild in flavour and may be eaten raw or cooked. For a richer, earthier flavour when cooked, or a nutty taste when raw, chefs often turn to brown button mushrooms, also known as criminis. Portabellas, which can be several inches across, are solid and meaty, and are excellent for grilling, roasting or stuffing.

Canada's mushroom farms also produce specialty mushrooms, often called gourmet mushrooms. These are the cream of the crop and include shiitakes, which have a woodsy flavour and are ideal for stir fries, and pastas. The delicate taste and slight crunch of enoki mushrooms make them a favourite in Asian dishes, but they are also tasty when eaten raw. Oyster mushrooms have a delicate, mild flavour, and their velvety texture is a fine complement to chicken, seafood and pork.

All these varieties are grown year-round in specially constructed, extremely clean rooms on Canada's mushroom farms. These growing rooms are steam-sterilized between crops, and the growth medium is pasteurized before the mushroom spawn is planted. All Canadian mushrooms are harvested by hand, and the pickers take great care not to bruise or scratch the fragile crop. To ensure quality and freshness, the mushrooms are refrigerated right on the farm as soon as they have been picked.

Canada takes great care to ensure that all its foods are safe to eat, and mushrooms are no exception. Mushrooms Canada, a non-profit organization that includes growers, processors and researchers, has helped develop the On-Farm Food Safety Program for mushrooms, and this program complies with both the standards of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) international standard.

Savour the wild

Some of the most delectable Canadian mushrooms, however, have never seen the inside of a growing room. These are the wild mushrooms of Canada's cool northern forests, where the regular rainfall and rich soils provide a perfect habitat for morels, chanterelles, pine mushrooms and other exotic varieties. Some appear for only a week and are very fragile, so many mushroom harvesters must become experts in each variety's life cycle and in knowing which ones are safe to eat, since many wild mushrooms are poisonous.

In some Canadian forests, high-quality pine mushrooms and chanterelles are so abundant when in season that they are flown to overseas markets to be sold fresh. However, because their fruiting seasons are so short, most Canadian wild mushrooms are dried before being sold. This isn't merely to preserve them for convenient use—with many varieties of mushroom, drying actually intensifies their flavours. Canada's wild mushrooms are perfectly suited to many dishes, but are especially good with Canadian wild rice, a sauté of beef, poultry stuffing or potato gratin.

Taste the Canadian difference

Grown, harvested and processed to the highest standards, Canadian mushrooms have few equals anywhere. For further information about Canada's mushroom industry, please visit:

Government websites

Industry websites


Trade Statistics

The following tables represent Canada's total trade in a given export commodity based on Statistics Canada data. The product categories represent HS code groupings and have not been modified. In most cases, statistics have been presented at the 6 or 8 digit level. Statistics are presented in Canadian dollars and are complete through year end 2010.

HS Codes

  • 070951 - Mushrooms, fresh or chilled
  • 070959 - Mushrooms, fresh or chilled, nes
  • 071151 - Mushrooms of the genus Agaricus, provisionally preserved, but not for immediate consumption
  • 071159 - Mushrooms & truffle, nes, provisionally preserved, but not for immediate consumption
  • 071231 - Mushrooms of the genus Agaricus, dried, cut, sliced, etc., but not further prepared
  • 071239 - Mushrooms & truffles, dried, cut, sliced, etc., but not further prepared
  • 200310 - Mushrooms prepared or preserved other than by vinegar or acetic acid
  • 200390 - Mushrooms, other than genus Agaricus, prepr/presvd other than by vinegar or acetic acid
Canada's Exports to All Countries ($CAD)
HS 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
Total 95,213,453 84,631,123 90,325,575 110,334,268 15.9%
070951 77,929,793 69,986,979 78,814,421 99,652,125 27.9%
070959 13,532,247 10,723,938 9,727,770 8,273,312 -38.9%
071239 2,685,908 1,971,296 405,739 1,461,436 -45.6%
200310 837,796 1,638,227 1,347,889 736,796 -12.1%
071231 188,093 294,616 26,530 194,577 3.4%
071159 13,852 14,703 3,163 16,000 15.5%
200390 25,210 1,364 63 22 -99.9%
071151 554 0 0 0 -100.0%
Canada's Exports to All Countries (Quantity, KGM)
HS 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
Total 23,793,909 22,152,248 21,634,751 30,052,706 26.3%
070951 22,314,004 20,309,973 19,851,383 28,424,549 27.4%
070959 993,338 897,267 1,039,305 1,148,535 15.6%
200310 456,528 930,394 740,515 466,170 2.1%
071239 14,297 9,739 2,722 9,336 -34.7%
071159 3,922 2,674 523 2,170 -44.7%
071231 2,472 1,612 279 1,937 -21.6%
200390 9,138 589 24 9 -99.9%
071151 210 0 0 0 -100.0%
Canada's Monthly Exports to All Countries
(HS Codes 070951, 070959, 071151, 071159, 071231, 071239, 200310, 200390, Value $CAD)
Month 2007 2008 2009 2010
Jan 7,980,994 6,761,455 7,314,955 8,022,596
Feb 8,028,894 6,140,786 6,503,809 8,159,507
Mar 7,877,761 5,541,367 7,684,944 8,828,583
Apr 7,366,126 5,274,723 7,149,284 8,355,890
May 7,070,455 5,960,121 6,779,766 9,341,004
Jun 7,680,971 6,642,678 6,675,660 9,486,425
Jul 6,899,645 6,413,905 6,284,070 8,807,678
Aug 7,235,148 6,251,229 5,932,419 9,526,052
Sep 10,593,857 7,955,274 8,346,794 10,011,062
Oct 8,593,728 10,584,542 12,142,148 11,011,680
Nov 7,755,019 8,711,830 7,609,541 9,662,612
Dec 8,130,855 8,393,213 7,902,185 9,121,179
TOTAL 95,213,453 84,631,123 90,325,575 110,334,268
Canada's Exports to All Countries by Province
(HS Codes 070951, 070959, 071151, 071159, 071231, 071239, 200310, 200390, Value $CAD)
Province 2007 2008 2009 2010
Alberta 111,894 10,049 4,625 0
British Columbia 64,532,461 54,207,386 56,023,341 69,591,461
Manitoba 35,054 15,100 53,700 210,623
New Brunswick 2,303 283 3,557 16,535
Newfoundland and Labrador 0 0 163 137
Nova Scotia 429 2,222 1,333 5,628
Ontario 30,374,420 30,386,144 34,220,419 40,419,087
Prince Edward Island 0 0 0 52,302
Québec 13,394 9,939 18,437 38,495
Saskatchewan 143,498 0 0 0
Canada's Top 10 Mushroom Markets
(HS Codes 070951, 070959, 071151, 071159, 071231, 071239, 200310, 200390, Value $CAD)
Country 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
TOTAL 95,213,453 84,631,123 90,325,575 110,334,268 15.9%
United States 80,621,292 74,580,236 80,918,630 102,763,498 27.5%
Japan 9,030,651 5,465,483 7,729,283 4,985,896 -44.8%
France 3,491,579 2,837,949 495,430 1,375,455 -60.6%
Netherlands 680,338 706,306 460,431 429,621 -36.9%
Switzerland 871,231 431,164 143,241 334,201 -61.6%
Sweden 0 3,528 33,825 135,770 -
Norway 93,165 153,530 152,458 77,117 -17.2%
Swaziland 55,976 101,938 0 63,349 13.2%
Spain 19,809 79,349 67,453 45,977 132.1%
Belgium 0 97,266 112,575 38,579 -