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Truffle hunting in the time of covid-19

We live in a very difficult and confusing historical moment and the government’s measures, rightly or wrongly, do not go into detail about the many peculiarities of which the Italian landscape is dotted. Our association has therefore decided to write to the Tuscany Region to clarify the possibility of hunting truffles and maintein truffles growing areas.

Below is the text of the letter:

Let’s start with a question: where is the truffle hunting in the last DCPM?

There are those who have already hazard a guess that it can be view as a sport activity, or at least as a motor activity, and therefore allowed from May 4th also for hobbyists and occasional hunters. The problem, however, lies in the definition of truffle hunting just as a hobby, therefore an activity practiced in leisure for pleasure, interest and fun. This could result in outdoor recreational or recreational activities that are not allowed. In fact, as the DCPM of April 26 2020 says at Art. 1 paragraph 1 letter f “it is not permitted to carry out recreational activities outdoors; it is permissible to carry out individually, i.e. with escort for minors or people who are not completely self-sufficient, sports activity or motor activities, provided that, in respect of the interpersonal safety distance of at least two meters for sports activity and at least one meter for any other activity“.

For the month of May the problem does not arise since the truffle hunting is closed but we could have the same kind of dilemma even on 1 June, despite this being an activity that takes place in the vast majority of cases alone and therefore with a very low risk of contagion.

Another problem that strictly affects our association is the maintenance of the truffle-growing areas. The Association has an Ateco code that allows it to operate and often our members do little but essential maintenance works, precisely at these times of the year. Here, too, we live in the uncertainty that our members may be fined on their travels from their home to do these works or to follow the jobs we entrust to companies.

The solution to these dilemmas could be an ordinance of the Tuscany Region that allows the maintenance of truffle-growing areas in May and, from June, the truffle hunting. We think it is important to protect the truffle supply chain taking into account that, with the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic caused by sars-cov-2, many people may find some breathing space by supplementing their income with this activity. However, even with the expectation of the reopening of catering activities, we will have to ensure that such an important and distinctive product for our territory can be supplied to these activities.