Koolen

For Dutch mushroom producer Koolen, freshness is everything, which is why it takes less than a day for the goods to travel from grower to Spinneys’ shelves

WHO THEY ARE

Back in 1981, Leo Koolen started life in the mushroom growing business. He had two employees and a desire to harvest top-quality mushrooms. Though the company has changed in the intervening 30 years – it now employs 75 people and grows an ever-increasing variety of mushrooms – the standards have remained the same.

From the start, Koolen has been sustainable. Produce has always been picked and packed by hand, and these days there are a raft of accreditations that back up the company’s strong commitment to farming in an environmentally friendly way. It is recognised by Global GAP and the BRC, worldwide organisations for food safety standards. And on a local level, Koolen work with Milieukeur, the Dutch environmental quality label for sustainability.

WHAT THEY DO

Their produce is grown in a dark, humid room (where the temperature is held between 22 to 23 degrees Celsius) on compost and black soil. The growing process lasts five weeks, during which time there are two harvests.

Once this stage has been completed, Koolen pass the baton over to the safe hands of well-established Levarht, a company whose slogan, ‘Your Source to Freshness’, says it all. Levarht collect the mushrooms from Koolen and within hours ship the produce to the UAE, with the process taking just 20 hours.

Mushrooms are like sponges and can be up to 90 per cent water. As a result, it’s best to wipe rather than wash them clean. Cooking mushrooms removes much of the water content, creating an intensified and deeper flavour, ideal for soups, stews and stir-fries.

TRY THE PRODUCTS

Koolen was delighted when its range of Asian mushrooms was added to the SpinneysFood label. Inside the packs you’ll find versatile and delicious oyster, enoki and shiitake mushrooms.


To learn more about Koolen, visit koolen-champignons.com