Western Australian truffle growers have the opportunity to meet with a visiting international expert later this month to learn more about orchard establishment and global markets for truffles.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is supporting Truffle Producers Western Australia to bring Spanish truffle expert Carlos Colinas to WA from 17 to 19 September.
Dr Colinas is scheduled to attend the Australian Truffle Growers Association Conference and annual general meeting in Tasmania, which provided the opportunity to invite him to WA to meet with local growers.
Truffle Producers Western Australia is presenting a field day and seminar on 18 September with Dr Colinas as the key presenter, along with Curtin University research fellow Julia Easton, to discuss orchard establishment, irrigation practices and the broader industry and global market opportunities.
Department truffle pest management experts Alison Mathews and Stewart Learmonth and development officer Alec McCarthy will also be on hand to answer questions.
The day will start with a field session at 10am at the Truffle and Wine Company in Manjimup and the afternoon seminar session will be held at the department’s Manjimup office from 2pm.
Mr McCarthy said WA’s black truffle (Tuber melanosporum), is a high value crop harvested from June to August each year.
“There are currently 70 truffle growers in WA but the industry is growing rapidly, with an estimated 10 tonnes of truffle harvested in the 2018 season.
“Of this, eight tonnes was exported to markets in Asia, Europe and America.
“The field day is a great opportunity for Dr Colinas to share his extensive knowledge and experience to help the WA truffle industry to continue to develop.
“In comparison to WA, Spain has a large truffle industry of both cultivated truffle orchards and wild harvested truffles, with the 2018/19 harvest estimated at 80 tonnes.”
Truffle Producers WA management committee chairman Wally Edwards said the visit was a great opportunity for truffle growers to hear from a world renowned truffle expert.
“There is also an opportunity for Dr Colinas to visit truffle farms in the Manjimup and Pemberton regions,” he said.
Mr Edwards said he was also very grateful for the ongoing assistance of the department.
“Without their assistance this visit would not be possible,” he said.
Growers who wish to attend the field day or seminar on 18 September are asked to RSVP to Sue Barnett on email@example.com by 13 September.
For more information on the visit, contact Sue Barnett, visit www.tpwa.com.au, or contact Alec McCarthy on (08) 9780 6273.
Media contact: Jodie Thomson/Katrina Bowers, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937