We’ve been shortlisted for an award: for bringing successful truffle cultivation to Scotland and the potential this has for boosting the region’s economy. The winner is decided by public vote. You can read more and vote (hopefully!) on the SRA’s website , we very much appreciate your support. Thank you!
Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd have been shortlist for an award: for bringing successful truffle cultivation to Scotland and the potential this has for boosting the region's economy.
The winner is decided by public vote and this can be made on the SRA's website , we'd very much appreciate your support.
Background to why MSL has been shortlisted for the Scottish Rural Innovators Award
Truffles are fungi that grow in symbiosis with trees. Amongst the world’s most sought-after delicacies, the native British truffle (Tuber aestivum syn. uncinatum) commands prices of £400/kg. Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd (MSL) developed an innovative method to successfully cultivate this species through the creation of native woodland planted with trees that have been nurtured to host the truffle fungus. With a base on the Isle of Bute, MSL has so far established four truffle woods across Scotland, in partnership with land custodians, and although cultivation takes at least 6 years from planting to harvest, cultivated Scottish truffles are already being produced.
After six years of work, the first cultivated truffles were harvested on one of our Scottish partner plantations in 2017 and were warmly welcomed by famous Michelin-starred Scottish chef Tom Kitchen who declared: ‘It would be a dream come true to get a regular supply of Scottish truffles’. Pam Burton, chef at Inver restaurant in Argyll which has won a fistful of plaudits since opening in 2015, also received some of the first truffles and said ‘I’m delighted that our natural larder now includes the delicious flavour and aroma of truffle. It’s a flavour that is very evocative of the seasons and of the land, and a certain place and time in it’.
Working in partnership with land custodians across Scotland, we have established four commercial truffle orchards and we plan to expand this substantially. The cultivation of Scottish truffles brings a new dynamic to the Scottish food and drink landscape, exciting diners and chefs alike. Although the majority of the harvest in the early years will continue be used by Scottish restaurants, we are aiming to increase cultivation substantially to develop an export market and thereby create another jewel in the crown of Scottish food exports. With global truffle distribution expected to be worth an estimated £4.5Billion in the next 10-20 years, the contribution to the Scottish economy could be sizeable.