Welcome to the Australian Truffle Growers Association website. Truffle growing has now been established in Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. This website is structured to provide a general information base for any interested viewer and includes additional information that increases the value of membership of the Association.
Successful 2013 Australian Truffle Growers AGM and Conference
Our 2013 conference was held in Mittagong, NSW on Friday 23, Sat 24 and Sunday 25 August, and included a post conference workshop tour on Monday the 26th and Tuesday the 27th of August.
The conference had over 120 attendees and included international speakers Christine Fischer and Daniel Oliach from Spain, as well as Dr Jim Trappe from the USA, and representatives from the New Zealand Truffle Industry.
- To make membership easier and more accessible for all growers (new or well established) a set membership fee of $200 has been introduced, regardless of number of trees in the ground or size of operation.
- The President of the Association, Anne Mitchell, had to step down after 1 year of her 2 year term, and the casual vacancy was filled by the new President, Graham Duell, by unanimous vote. He will hold this position until the AGM in 2014.
- A workshop was held for 34 people on starting a new truffiere, with a briefing on the importance of knowing about the site specific soils, climate, trees, irrigation, ongoing management and more. The majority of persons that came to this workshop had no training in horticulture, agriculture or silviculture (forestry) and they were advised to get basic knowledge in these areas, through TAFEs, online courses, or thorough research, so they can best control the outcome and outputs of a truffle farm.
- A workshop was held for 28 people on non-productive truffieres, walking them through the decisions that they have to make in each of the key areas that can be hampering the production of truffle.
- A thorough an enlightening presentation was done by Dr Jim Trappe on Australian Native truffles, detailing the life cycle and symbiotic relationship between the truffle and Australia’s native flora and fauna.
- A detailed briefing was done by Christine Fischer on the growing Spanish Truffle industry and actions being taken there.
- A presentation was done on the 1st International Congress on Trufficulture in Spain earlier this year.
- A NZ briefing was done on the current state and activities of the New Zealand Truffle Industry.
- Scientific presentations were done regarding the natural perfume of truffles, the functions of proteins in truffles as well as research into truffle rot being experienced by some growers.
- The new Tree Certification program was announced and detailed from an association, nursery, Spanish and of course laboratory perspective. The certification line incorporates both physical inspection and also DNA testing to determine the health and details of innoculated tree seedlings and was well received. By May of 2014 the program will be running and nurseries should be having certified trees available for growers.
- A briefing was done by Nathan and Kaitlyn Carter about attracting young members into the industry.
- Industry marketing initiatives were detailed, including the latest on international markets, details from an exporter, as well as brand building for smaller growers.
- Daniel Oliach, a 15 yr extension officer in Spain, gave a briefing on his actions to both establish and build truffle farm production.
- A session was held to get industry feedback on key priorities over the next several years which was well received and resulted in an exact list of key areas that the Executive Committee will now use to formulate a basic forward strategy for the Association over the next several months.
- There was a superb truffle dinner at the beautiful Centennial Vineyards Restaurant that seated over 120 people and had the locally produced wine flowing.
- Lastly, there was a post conference tour that was led by Christine Fischer and Daniel Oliach, visiting 4 different truffle farms and assessing and advising how to best improve truffle production in each different location, based on different circumstances and situations.
The next conference is going to be held in Tasmania in September 2014, with details to be announced over coming months.
We look forward to seeing you all there!