GM’s Former Holden Adelaide Plant Will Now Produce Mushrooms

It’s been more than five years since the GM Adelaide plant in Australia was closed for Holden vehicle production. Now, the site is seeing new life in the form of mushrooms.

According to a recent report from ABC News, Epicurean Food Group, an Australian producer, has begun building a new $110 million facility at the plant to grow mushrooms. Currently, it is estimated that six growing rooms will produce 20 tons of mushrooms a week starting in late February. From there, output is expected to grow to an estimated 20,000 tons of mushrooms and mushroom products per year until mid-2024.

“We start with white oyster mushrooms, then we will go into shiitake, enoki and king oyster,” said Epicurean Food Group chief executive officer Kenneth King. “When I’m finished here, with the real estate that I’ve taken on, I will produce around 600 tons of mushrooms a week. [We want to] introduce a lot of the population to the product, bring it to the menu, bring it to their daily consumption because they’re very healthy. But also, we value-add – we make burgers and balls and sausages, crumble, meals, and that gives us the ability to freeze them down and export.”

As of the time of this writing, the workforce consists of 37 full-time employees, which includes a few former Holden employees. The entire workforce is expected to expand to 350 employees in a little over a year.

“I’ve got a number of ex-Holden people and they’re wonderful workers. They’ve been really well received,” King said.

When the new facility is completed, King claims that it will be the largest mushroom farm in Australia.

“This will be the only truly professional-style exotic mushroom farm in the country,” King said. “There are lots of others, but no one has ever gone to the extent that I have. In Australia … the industry has never had the ability to grow 52 weeks of the year, so we look for some real strong growth based upon the fact that we can provide right across the spectrum.

As a brief reminder, GM shuttered the Holden brand as a whole in Australia and New Zealand back in 2020.

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View Comments (12)

  • According to some of the reviewers in Australia not much has changed at that plant.
    That plant used to produce lemons…….

    • The Holden Plant at Elizabeth regularly rated No1 for Quality against all GM plants world-wide, before closing in Oct 2017.
      Large numbers of Holdens continue to achieve incredibly high second-hand car prices based on their performance and reliability.
      The previous Holden site at Elizabeth now contains over 30 local manufacturing South Australian companies, including many defence industries, and is now called Lionsgate Business Park.
      The site also contains the Holden Manufacturing Heritage Centre, run by volunteers.

  • The reason why there is no longer a viable Automotive Production Plant in Australia is not due to anyone at GM, Ford, or Toyota but as a result of the Australian Government eliminating duties and taxes on imported Automobiles along with the high value of the Australian Dollar which made local production uncompetitive.

  • There are many contributing factors for vehicle design, development, and production being discontinued in Australia.
    The biggest contributor was lack of a business case for any future models. This is due to the Government freely opening up the small, approx, 1.2 million/year total new vehicle market, to every vehicle brand in the world; something no other vehicle producing country in the world has ever done. The highest selling vehicle in Australia fell from a volume of 150,000/year to 40,000/year. There is no way to achieve a new model return on investment at such low volumes. This sealed the fate of the industry.