Covartis, a chemical startup from Limoges, is considering replacing pesticides with oyster mushrooms after discovering that these mushrooms with fungicidal properties could be used as an ecological alternative.
“Our analysis reveals that oyster mushrooms can act as pesticides,” confirms Covertis. “The molecules we extract from them can offer a partial protection against diseases, but also against frost and other inconveniences. The product can be used on large cereal crops, vines, orchards, but it will not replace glyphosate, which is a herbicide.”
The startup has just formalized a partnership with the producer ChampiCreuse, which sees this alternative as a great opportunity. It now predicts a growth multiplied by ten, and an acceleration of its development with other companies interested in its raw material. The partnership with Covertis should enable the company to go from 200 tons of oyster mushrooms annually to more than 1,500 tons by 2021, and from 6 to 25 employees. “We are going to create a production unit in the Creuse,” reveals Olivier Blanchi, co-manager of the mushroom family farm with his brother Bruno.
"The resources are endless, the harvest is permanent and both growing and harvesting is very simple since they do not necessitate specialized workers. The future product, which does not have a name yet, is protected by a registered patent, its performance having been proven by a laboratory which will treat our mushrooms on site."