Bloomery: The Homegrown Mushroom Revolution in Lebanon — A Success Story from the REAF Ideathon

Bloomery, the first prize winner at the second Rural Entrepreneurs in Agri-Food (REAF) Ideathon, is a startup transforming the mushroom industry in Lebanon. This innovative team has developed a fully sustainable mushroom product line consisting of spawn, compost substrate, and organic compost, all produced locally in Lebanon.

Historically, mushroom cultivation in Lebanon has been a controlled agricultural process, with farmers relying on imported incubated compost, primarily from the Netherlands. However, Bloomery has successfully introduced a locally produced alternative, empowering local farms and markets with Lebanese-made mushroom products.

Darine Haddad, one of the Bloomery team members, has attended various training sessions in the United States and Europe since 2010. Her knowledge and experience have enabled her to produce mushroom spawn, substrate, and compost comparable to, and even better than those imported from abroad. With the expansion of its capabilities, Bloomery is now able to provide compost, spawn, and mushrooms to local farms and markets in Lebanon.

The team at Bloomery believes that the mushroom industry holds significant potential and can serve as a pillar of Lebanon’s agricultural revival. Their passion for supporting this industry led them to participate in the REAF Program.

It is our belief that the mushroom industry has significant potential and can serve as a pillar of Lebanon’s agricultural revival. The lack of support in this field motivated us to participate in the REAF Program so that our 100% locally produced products could be expanded and equipped with a second composting yard.

Darine Haddad

Bloomery’s first-place victory at the Ideathon has secured them a spot in the second phase of the REAF program at Berytech. This opportunity will provide them with a grant of up to $2,000 and technical and business assistance to further validate and develop their idea.

The REAF program, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in partnership with Berytech, focuses on strengthening agriculture, local communities, and small and medium enterprises (ACE). The Michel Daher Foundation, a proud community stakeholder in the REAF Program, has supported the growth and development of startups like Bloomery, contributing to the sustainable future of Lebanon’s agriculture.

With its commitment to local production, sustainability, and innovation, Bloomery is poised to revolutionize the mushroom industry in Lebanon, serving as a shining example of the power of homegrown entrepreneurship.