Truffle woes prompt producers to look to Spain

As prices rocket in southwest France, producers examine farming techniques on the other side of the Pyrénées 

Truffle hunters in southwest France are looking over the border to Spain for inspiration as they battle to save their struggling industry.

Producers of sought-after black truffles in Spain have moved from hunting to farming at higher altitudes to ensure production levels are unaffected despite warmer, drier weather.

On the French side of the mountains, in Occitanie, however, producers still rely on traditional hunting methods, but years of little rain and high temperatures - reportedly as high as 50C in some truffle fields, according to one truffle producer who spoke to Franceinfo - means the prized delicacy is increasingly hard to find.

Due to the scarcity of black truffles prices are rocketing. At a truffle festival in Saint-Geniès-des-Mourgues, Montpellier, on Sunday, wholesale prices ranged between €400 and €900 per kilogramme.

Specialists say there is no difference in quality or taste between wild or farmed truffles.

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