With CBA’s support, SA Mushrooms has invested significantly over the past four years to introduce new innovative technology to enhance the sustainability of its business and the quality of its mushrooms.

Run by brothers Nick Femia and Nat Femian [pictured], their father Sam Femia Senior and Nick’s son Sam Femia junior, SA Mushrooms has grown 150 per cent in the past four years. 

The fully integrated business comprises a mushroom farm, compost yard and market stand, producing around 55 tonnes of mushrooms a week to supply major retailers, markets and greengrocers around Australia.

Nick Femia said the business is completely focused on our customers and always looking for ways to improve sustainability, quality and efficiencies. Specialised monitoring systems and processes are key, given mushrooms grow at a rapid rate of 1mm an hour.

To ensure the mushrooms have the optimum environment to thrive, the Femia’s introduced a new enterprise resource program and integrated process management systems that can measure everything from mushroom and compost quality, to picker productivity and environmental factors such as moisture and nitrogen levels, on an hourly basis.

“We measure every single point in the supply chain to see where we can improve,” Mr Femia said. “We also introduced new conveyer belts and vertical harvesting trollies to reducing the amount of 'touch' involved in picking and placing them into boxes.”

The family puts sustainability and the circular economy at its core. Unlike many vegetable providers, 96 per cent of SA Mushrooms’ packaging is compostable and it reuses 100 per cent of its water.

“We use by-products from other businesses, value add to them and transform this into raw materials perfect for mushroom growing bed. At the end of the process, our spent beds become a high quality soil conditioner that helps support other agri-businesses.” 

Mr Femia said CBA provided invaluable support for the SA Mushroom’s growth and innovation plans.

“CBA has specialised understanding about what it takes to make an agribusiness successful, and all the processes along the way, from preparation to harvesting, shipping and getting products on shop shelves,” he said.

“It’s a long-term journey and we both put customers at the centre of everything we do.”

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