The European Mushroom Growers Group (GEPC) was created in 1980 by mushroom representatives from France, Germany, and the Netherlands. At first, it worked as an unofficial group and led to the implementation of a protective clause and a EU quota for canned cultivated mushroom in order to limit Chinese imports.
The GEPC is now a specific subgroup of the Fruits and Vegetables Group of the COPA and COGECA. It is composed of the Organisations that represent cultivated mushroom growers in the national horizontal structures that are directly or indirectly members of the COPA COGECA.
The GEPC defends the interests of the European fresh and processed cultivated mushroom sector.
It is competent for any issue that may be of interest for mushroom growers: market situation, monitoring of international flows, promotion, technical and research issues, phytosanitary products, trade negotiations, CMO Fruits and Vegetables, etc.
Nowadays the GEPC is composed of 10 delegations representing the mushroom growers from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain. In 2015, those 10 countries accounted for 90% of the overall European production of mushroom, which amounted at 1,111,700 tons – feet cut.
The objectives of the GEPC are:
- To represent the voice of the European mushroom growers, and to set the policy goals required to promote their interests and incomes;
- To provide a platform for discussion and exchange among its members (producers and cooperatives) and to contribute to the emergence of a common platform;
- To carry out the technical representation of the European mushroom sector with the competent EU authorities through a recognised lobbying;
- To carry out the statistical monitoring of the European markets and to manage the coordination works in relation to European and international markets of cultivated mushrooms, regardless of their purpose and technology (fresh, canned, frozen, etc.);
- To provide expert information with regard to the sector of European cultivated mushrooms, in particular in the economics, statistics, technical, quality, etc. fields to its members.
The headquarters of GEPC are currently hosted in France, by ANICC, the French mushroom growers’ association.
The Group meets twice a year: once in Brussels, in January, and once for the General Meeting in one of the member States, in June.