A ker­fuf­fle over ‘black gold’

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Front Page - Tari Jef­fers

MORE than 5000 peo­ple are ex­pected to de­scend on Man­jimup this week­end for the sev­enth an­nual Truf­fle Ker­fuf­fle, pump­ing more than $1 mil­lion into the econ­omy and fur­ther en­hanc­ing the re­gion as a food tourism des­ti­na­tion.

Or­gan­is­ers have pro­vided three days of truf­fle-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties start­ing Fri­day and are call­ing on the com­mu­nity to get be­hind the event to en­sure its longevity.

The fes­ti­val – held at Fonty’s Pool – cel­e­brates the re­gion’s black truf­fle in­dus­try and helps pro­mote the re­gion as a place for “black gold” on the international market.

Look­ing for­ward, Truf­fle Ker­fuf­fle pres­i­dent Jeremy Beis­sel said he hoped for con­tin­ued sup­port from a com­mu­nity that whole­heart­edly en­joyed and ap­pre­ci­ated the event.

Mr Beis­sel said he hoped there was some­thing for ev­ery­one to en­joy at the fes­ti­val, with high­lights in­clud­ing the fam­ily fun day on Sun­day, var­i­ous cook­ing demon­stra­tions, truf­fle hunt­ing demon­stra­tions and a 80m by 15m mar­quee full of food and wine stalls.

Guest chefs this year in­clude Paul West, Jack Stein, Amy Hamil­ton, Aaron Carr and Ben Day.

Truf­fle Dogs WA co-owner and truf­fle grower Gavin Booth said he es­ti­mated there would be 12 tonnes of truf­fles un­earthed this sea­son, worth about $20 mil­lion in re­tail value.

“It’s been a soft start to the sea­son, so there’s an ex­pec­ta­tion the sea­son will run long,” Mr Booth said.

He said the event and truf­fle in­dus­try had come a long way in the

past seven years.

“We’ve crossed from an idea into an in­dus­try and the next decade is go­ing to be re­ally ex­cit­ing,” he said.

He said he would like to see a con­tin­u­a­tion to­wards team­work and col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween truf­fle grow­ers.

“As a fledg­ling in­dus­try, we have a lot to over­come in dis­ease and mar­ket­ing,” he said.

“Man­jimup has a unique posi-

tion in the world of truf­fles, we’ll be an epi­cen­tre for the next 10 years but we shouldn’t squan­der that.”

Man­jimup Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try pres­i­dent Kent Roberts said the Truf­fle Ker­fuf­fle was one of the in­te­gral events that put Man­jimup on the tourism map and had the added bonus of pro­mot­ing one of the re­gion’s agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries.

“It pro­motes Man­jimup and it’s a great event for bring­ing in peo­ple who live out­side the area,” he said.

“I en­cour­age lo­cal busi­nesses, even those not in re­tail, to clean up if they can and look nice be­cause we’re on show this week­end.”

Mr Beis­sel said the event had been built up into one that in­ter­na­tion­ally-renowned chefs wanted to come to.

“They’re lov­ing the South­ern

Forests and if we’re at­tract­ing that cal­i­bre of chefs, there’s some­thing they see in what we’re do­ing,” he said.

Mr Beis­sel said that sort of at­ten­tion was ben­e­fi­cial to the re­gion as a whole and had al­ready drawn mil­lions of tourism dol­lars into the area.

Visit www.truf­flek­er­fuf­fle.com.au for ticket and pro­gram in­for­ma­tion.

Pic­ture: Tari Jef­fers

Truf­fle Dogs WA co-owner Mel Booth and Mako sniff out some "black gold" ahead of the Truf­fle Ker­fuf­fle this week­end.

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