The president of the Association Truffle Producers and Collectors from Aragon, David Royo, said this year has been very complicated for the black truffle due to restrictions in the hotel industry, this product's main sales channel in the Spanish market and abroad. "France is the world's biggest consumer of truffles and restrictions there are worse than here." This is especially painful as the truffle has exceptional quality and great aroma this season because the weather has been favorable for its development in Aragon, the main producing region of this coveted mushroom, he added.
A large part of the truffle that has been marketed has been destined for the industry, for the production of preserves or flavored products, where the price has also fallen by up to 30%. "There hasn't been much fresh truffle, which has the highest culinary and economic value, as it has been diverted to the canning industry," Royo said.
As a result, many collectors have had to sell at a loss. "Producers, in general, have been unable to cover their production costs this year," Royo said. "Producers have to make a strong initial investment to start their operation, as they have to invest in preparing the land, in fences, irrigation systems, etc.; it's eight years of cultivation without harvesting. Normally producers are able to cover their costs and re-invest all the money they make, but this year they have been unable to cover all costs.”
In addition, the suspension of the Graus Truffle Market because of the pandemic affected unit sales, which reach the highest prices. “We haven't been able to adequately promote the truffle this year. Truffles are known for their aroma, people buy them when they smell them. This year we have not been able to get close to the final consumer,” he said. He also encouraged all growers to move forward and make their best effort for the next season, when they hope normality will have returned.