BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Wednesday, 7 February, 2001, 23:10 GMT
Black truffle alert in France

By James Coomarasamy in Paris

French Agriculture Minister Jean Glavany has lent his weight to a Save the Truffle campaign.

Mr Glavany signed a convention on Wednesday to encourage the production of the spongy mushroom-like delicacy in the south of France.

Diamonds may be forever but French truffle producers are afraid that black diamonds may not be.

Black diamonds is the nickname for the rarest, most delicate truffle on - and in - earth, whose numbers have been dwindling.

At the turn of the century, around 1,000 tonnes of the pungent delicacy were harvested annually, mainly in the southwest of France.

Soaring prices

This year, because of climate change, just 25 tonnes are expected to be sniffed out from the soil around oak trees where they grow.

It is little wonder then that their price continues to soar - a kilo will set you back more than FFr 4,200 ($600).

But help is at hand from Mr Glavany who has signed a truffle convention with the Federation Francaise des Trufficulteurs (Truffle Producers' Federation).

The signatories pledged to carry out truffle research and encourage truffle development as part of a seven-year truffle plan.

The truffle, an agriculture ministry statement read, is an integral part of French national culture and must be protected.

Three special oak trees have been planted in the grounds of the ministry, ensuring that the government at least will have a ready supply.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

02 Oct 99 | Europe
Truffle armistice plea
24 Jun 99 | UK
Truffle farm first
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories