Cape Connoisseur Champignons (Pty) Ltd trading as the South African Gourmet Mushroom Academy®
When using the services of the Academy, you can rest assured that you not only gain the experience garnered from many years of cultivation, but from a strong academic and professional grounding in all aspects of the discipline. Too many service providers in the industry, even today, have blind spots, that they are unaware of, by virtue of only relying on being self-taught.
Adriaan is a well-known international researcher and gourmet mushroom educator who has challenged and changed the way retail groups and customers perceive mushrooms. With perspectives that often contradict conventional mushroom cultivation methodology, he has earned a reputation for straightforward talk, poise and courage. He is regarded worldwide as a passionate advocate of empowerment via education.
Well equipped with post-graduate degrees in mycology, additional business and international mushroom cultivation qualifications (UK and the Netherlands), Adriaan and his team of equally qualified business and marketing professionals is changing the local and international mushroom scenario. Visits and study tours to leading mushroom research centres and private companies in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, England, Scotland, Canada, United States of America, China (which produces more than 80% of the world’s gourmet mushrooms) and Hong Kong sculptured his vision of this global US$34 billion mushroom industry. Cumulative practical experience over a 30 year period is used to educate entrepreneurs from all spheres of life, background or ethnicity.
As a true initiator, he founded the first Mushroom Research Centre in South Africa. Adriaan organised and chaired the 1st Educational Gourmet and Medicinal Mushroom Conference in South Africa and was the only South African to present a paper at the 1st International Conference on Medicinal Mushrooms. He was also instrumental in the conceptualisation, establishment and management of the first mycotourism (mushroom-based tourism) concept in Africa. As invited guest speaker, he addressed international audiences i.e. the World Fungi Conference (mycotourism) and the International Mushroom Biotechnology Symposium (medicinal mushrooms).
Apart from being honored with the prestigious Scientist of the Year Award, Adriaan has been involved in teaching and research into various aspects of gourmet and medicinal mushroom science, with the emphasis on cultivation technique evaluations (simple and / or state-of-the-art), indigenous substrate formulations and the development of mushroom-based nutraceuticals / dietary supplements e.g. health wines. Adriaan was appointed as honorary lecturer at the South African Gourmet Mushroom Academy® during Jan 2005 and as managing director in Apr 2007. He was selected as one of four National Finalists in the FNB Enablis Business LaunchPad Competition, an achievement which reflects a high level of entrepreneur potential and commitment.
A fynbos conservation research project financially supported by the renowned World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa and executed by the Academy recently determined the role of naturally occurring mushroom species in the biological degradation of invasive wood species on commercial farms, facilitating total breakdown within a significantly reduced three year period, eliminating expensive tree chipping costs and reducing the fire hazard. From a cultivation perspective, Adriaan has proudly trained entrepreneurs from various African countries including South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi and Nigeria as well as overseas countries such as Australia, UK, USA, United Arab Emirates and Japan. He also recently acted as expert witness in a prominent mushroom-related court case in the High Court of South Africa.
From a mushroom cultivation perspective, the ground-breaking Microsoft® Excel-based Mushroom Business Plan and Operational Management Design System© and Mushroom Substrate Design Calculator© software are now available as part of two special combo (combination) deals or as one trio deal. Together with the new Mushroom Business Design Guide© with co-author Markus Peter-Erik Janssens in e-Book format, it will explain the value of the calculator with examples and substrate formulations applicable to various mushroom species and also the step-by-step interpretation of the operational management design system to operate at optimum levels for maximum profitability.
Also co-authored by Markus Peter-Erik Janssens, the international peer-reviewed Mushroom Cultivation Business and Marketing Secrecies© comes highly recommended.
Other than his scientific and business acumen, Adriaan and his team’s mushroom endeavours and those of their learners have been featured in both national and international publications / magazines, e.g. the Netherlands-based Mushroom Business www.mushroombusiness.com as well as being the focus of television and radio interviews, blogs and newspaper articles.