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OfflinemotamanM
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Mushroom pickers protesting plummeting prices
    #3194997 - 09/29/04 11:46 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/09/28/state1712EDT7528.DTL

Mushroom pickers protesting plummeting prices
-
Tuesday, September 28, 2004


(09-28) 14:12 PDT CRESCENT LAKE, Ore. (AP) --

Matsutake mushroom pickers are protesting plummeting prices for the delicacy by staying off the job for five days.

Their hope is they can turn back a global economic tide that has pushed down the price they receive from local buyers to $3 a pound from about $30 two weeks ago. The matsutakes retail for $35 to $45 a pound in U.S. markets and more in Japan.

"The prices have been going down, down, down. It's ridiculous," said Kuoy Loch, a picker who doubles as a monitor in the Crescent Lake Mushroom Monitoring Project, which advocates sustainable harvests.

The walkout began Sunday night when a group gathered in the unofficial meeting hall, a makeshift noodle house, at the U.S. Forest Service campground where the pickers live. A majority voted to stop picking for five days, hoping to increase pressure on the buyers and force prices up again.

A good picker can harvest anywhere from 5 to 20 pounds of the firm, white mushrooms daily, bringing good money in normal times and small fortunes when prices hit the hundreds of dollars a pound, as they have in years past.

Now, with matsutakes hitting record lows, pickers can't afford gas, groceries, and Forest Service camping and harvesting fees.

It's unclear whether the walkout can make a difference. Buyers contend they simply take their marching orders from bosses whose eyes are fixed on the Japanese auction markets, where the global price of matsutakes is set.

A global glut of matsutakes has forced down prices, they say. Many buyers aren't even bothering to open up buying tents this week.

"I can understand the pickers are concerned," said John Anderson, owner of Foods in Season Inc. of Vancouver, Wash., which has buyers stationed at Crescent Lake. "It's just supply and demand. It's not that we're trying to rip off the pickers."

Cheap supplies of matsutakes are available from China, the Korean Peninsula and British Columbia.

The pickers' protest appears to be unprecedented, said Denise Smith, director of the Alliance for Forest Workers and Harvesters, a Willow Creek, Calif., group that advocates fair treatment of harvesters.

"The fact that a bunch of them might be able to get together and pull this off is just unheard of in this industry," she told The Oregonian.


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OfflinePsilygirl
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Registered: 08/28/03
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Re: Mushroom pickers protesting plummeting prices [Re: motaman]
    #3197162 - 09/29/04 09:30 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

i heard chantrelle prices are ridiculously low right now as well...


apparantly all this rain--and thus growth--has made the supply/demand thing get all funky


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"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing.' Between the two, my life flows."


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OfflineWorf
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Re: Mushroom pickers protesting plummeting prices [Re: motaman]
    #3197588 - 09/29/04 11:09 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

They really ought to find new jobs. Camping and just picking mushrooms doesn't sound like a very solid economic plane.


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OfflineEkstaza
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Re: Mushroom pickers protesting plummeting prices [Re: Worf]
    #3197739 - 09/29/04 11:43 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

outputrotation said:
They really ought to find new jobs.  Camping and just picking mushrooms doesn't sound like a very solid economic plane.




Sounds fun though. :thumbup: :laugh:


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YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH ANY GIVEN DRUG ISN'T THE DEFINITIVE MEASURE OF THE DRUGS EFFECTS.


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InvisibleEonTan
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Re: Mushroom pickers protesting plummeting prices [Re: motaman]
    #3211222 - 10/03/04 10:36 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Staying out of the market will only increase the price for those that remain in the market.

Some people :crazy:


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