Innovative truffle products for high-end culinary markets around the globe are being developed in a recently opened facility at Manjimup, with investment from the WA State Government.
A $339,600 Value Add Investment Grant has assisted the newly formed Western Australian Truffle Collective to build a small-scale research and development kitchen and factory to create a diverse range of fermented, canned and jarred products.
The investment will assist the WA Truffle Collective to offer value-added truffle goods to Australian and Asian markets – on top of traditional sales of fresh products to Europe.
Agriculture and food minister Jackie Jarvis met with the WA Truffle Collective partners while attending the Truffle Kerfuffle festival, supported by Tourism WA’s Regional Events Calendar.
WA exports more than 90 per cent of the nation’s truffles and is now the world’s fourth largest producer after Spain, France and Italy.
The industry is continuing to build, with production predicted to increase to more than 20 tonnes by 2025.
In 2022, 8.7 tonnes of WA truffles were exported to North America, Europe, the United Kingdom and Asia worth over $7 million.
The State’s Agrifood and Beverage Voucher Program has supported three truffle enterprises in recent years to pursue business, export and market development to forge new customer relationships.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is also working on a national AgriFutures Australia orchard floor management project to optimise sustainable production of truffles and to map the nation’s truffle orchards to aid industry expansion.
“Culinary tourism is growing in the South-West through events, such as Truffle Kerfuffle, where visitors can enjoy a truffle hunt with dogs, while discovering the provenance of this revered fungi,” Jarvis said.
“The State Government’s diverse investments across research and business development is assisting emerging industries, like the truffle industry, to realise their potential.
“It has been a delight to learn more about the Western Australian Truffle Collective’s vision to capture out of season opportunities for shelf stable truffle products.”
Regional development minister Don Punch said, “The Truffle Kerfuffle has become a key event in the South-West calendar and draws well deserved attention to our unique and world-class culinary produce.
“I am thrilled to see continued investment in Australia’s best truffles, and I wish the Western Australian Truffle Collective all the best in their efforts to further innovate the sector.”