Truffle growing and the truffle industry

What is truffle growing?

Living in association with a tree,thetruffle is amushroom family of Tuber which is developing underground. The exchanges that take place between the truffle and the tree at root level (water, sugar, mineral salts, etc.) are characteristic of a close and lasting mutually beneficial association. mycorrhizal symbiosis.

Trufficulture is a cultural practice that consists of planting young trees called “mycorhized”, that is to say, having been previously inoculated with truffles in their roots. This inoculation is practiced in nurseries and is called“controlled mycorrhization“. The resulting planting must be carried out under specific conditions and according to the requirements of the desired Tuberspecies.

Why truffle growing?

Truffle growing represents an opportunity todiversification for farmers. Often too little known, we want to make it accessible through training. It can therefore be grown in association with other crops in Agro-forestry.

Promoting the cultivation of truffles also means promoting a culture Agro-ecologicalIt requires no chemical inputs and a reasonable amount of water compared with other crops. We are therefore campaigning for reduction from productsphytosanitary and abalanced managementfroml’irrigation.

Truffle growing represents a lever for development from territory andtourist high potential. Growing truffles is a very good way of maintaining activity in an agriculturally depressed area, combating the rural exodus and enabling the establishment of new businesses.Agro-tourism.

From an environmental point of view, truffle fields make excellent tanks biological promoting biodiversity. They contribute tol’development of the region and enable valuation poor land.

How is the truffle industry organized?

In France, the number of truffle growers is estimated at 20 000Of these, around 5,000 are members of a truffle-growers’ union or association. These departmental unions are grouped into 7 Regional Federations, which themselves belong to the French Federation of Truffle Growers,of which Michel Tournayre is chairman.

At the European level, there are two institutions grouping together the Federations of different countries: the GETT (Groupement Européen Truffe et Trufficulture) and the CRETT (Consortium en Réseau Européen Truffe et Trufficulture).

In France, the annual turnover of the truffle industry was estimated in 2005 at about 150 million EuroThis figure is certainly underestimated, considering the sale of truffles but also everything that is related to the truffle, such as mycorrhizal plants, processed products, tourism … a figure that is certainly strongly underestimated.
In Europe, this turnover is around one billion Euro per year.

The truffle industry has a strong potential for development since truffle growing is a crop recognized by the European Union, opening the right to aid from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) .

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