If you’ve eaten celery, leeks or a baby leaf salad mix this week, chances are they’ve come from Schreurs & Sons. What started as a humble celery operation in Clyde is now a large scale, 3rd generation horticultural producer with a business that spans across seven properties over 1000 acres. As well as being one of the largest suppliers of celery in Australia, Schreurs also have a significant number of international customers.
Vic Silos has undergone significant change in the last three years after founder, Vic Vugs passed away in 2017. The strong reputation of the business however, meant the products continue to sell themselves, and this assisted in a quick re-boot from some initial upheaval after Vic’s death. New owner Ashley Kent has ensured the quality product coming out of the business has not changed, nor has its reputation as a leading local manufacturer of safe, innovative feeders and silos.
To say it’s been a challenging year for everyone in our Gippsland food and fibre industry doesn’t even go close to the reality – and for Victoria, whilst the daily numbers are looking very promising, it's not quite over yet. Resilience has been as strong as the frustration, and kindness by many running as deep as despair for others.
A recently awarded Food & Fibre Gippsland awarded project, Gippsland ADAPT has been funded by the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The project engagement is being delivered by CQUniversity Australia’s Agri-tech Education and Extension team and is designed to build capacity in Gippsland youth to respond to the impact climate change has on food and fibre production
The food and fibre stream of the Gippsland Smart Specialisation Strategy is forging ahead with its three projects: - High-Tech Vegetable Waste Processing Facility - Collective Craft Malting Facility - Online Trading Platform. Stakeholder feedback on each project pointed towards the need for some further exploration and data gathering to provide an informed way forward.
Earlier this year, Food & Fibre Gippsland was contracted to again deliver VegNET to Gippsland’s levy-paying vegetable growers. The focus of the past six months has been the development of a five-year Regional Extension Strategy. Although real-life engagement has been significantly limited due to The Pandemic, the project has given growers across the region opportunities to shape the focus of vegetable extension activities over the coming five years.
Growing garlic is a patient person’s game – a crop planted in March will be ready to pick in November. Creating a delicious, softly chewy, caramelized black garlic adds another layer of patience. It is a bit of science, a dash of mystery, a lot of intuition and a real passion for quality. That takes around another five weeks. So, a batch of East Gippsland’s Snowy River Black Garlic truly is a labour of love.
Family businesses are quite common across Gippsland, and as each generation steps into the position of continuing the name and tradition, new ideas surface to challenge the ways of the past, but in doing so, change the profitability model for the future. When Neil and Angela Stringer took over Forge Creek Lamb from Neil’s late father in 2017, they knew they wanted to do things a little differently, particularly when faced with the ongoing drought in the region. Over the last three years, their measured approach to diversification and learning new skills whilst continuing to assess progress and refine plans, has delivered good results for their sheep and wool farming business.