Waitrose growing Truffles

Even the supermarkets have realised what a great investment Truffles are !

25 Apr 2019

Waitrose & Partners Plants its Own Truffle Tree Orchard in Supermarket First

Waitrose & Partners Plants its Own Truffle Tree Orchard in Supermarket First
The Waitrose & Partners Farm on the Leckford Estate in Hampshire has planted a small truffle orchard to celebrate its 90th year of farming as part of the John Lewis Partnership.

The orchard is made up of Oak and Hazel trees that have had a summer truffle species added to their roots, enabling what is often described as ‘black gold’ - the fruit of the fungi - to grow. The trees are expected to start producing a meaningful yield of truffles in around five to seven years. 

The species of truffle has been specifically chosen because of its ability to grow exceptionally well when cultivated in the UK, where there is a good variation in temperature throughout the seasons such as cold winters and hot summers. The soil on the Waitrose Leckford Farm also creates an ideal PH for the truffles to grow in. In a few years’ time, when the truffles have taken root, the Waitrose & Partners farm will recruit a specially trained dog during the harvesting period to search out the valuable ingredient. 

Andrew Hoad, Head of the Waitrose & Partners Leckford Estate, says “Truffles are one of the most sought after delicacies of the food world, so it seemed fitting to plant this orchard in honour of our 90th year of farming here in Hampshire. 

“It is a long term investment for us, which could take up to 10 years to come to fruition, but as a business that has a passion for great quality food, farming and agriculture, we wanted to encompass this passion in our celebrations, and what better way than growing an ingredient as special as truffles. 

“We hope by being the first supermarket to have its own truffle orchard, we will be creating something special that we are able to share with our Partners and customers long into the future.” 

At the time of planting the orchard, demand for the delicacy is on the rise, as sales of oil infused with truffle are up 14% and searches for truffle oil on Waitrose.com have increased by 28% this April versus the same time last year.