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Celery won’t stick By Victoria Stone-Meadows

Chris Schreurs, one third of the trio of cousins that runs Schreurs and Sons, says Clyde is no longer a place fit for farming. 151240

to the new 358-hectare farm at Middle Tarwin, about 100 kilometres from their current farm. “The move is a huge thing logistically but it will mean we are going to be able to consolidate some of our operations to less locations, have more focused transport and a better co-ordinated workforce,” Chris Schreurs said. “We will be able to take a lot of the inefficiencies out of this farm and we won’t be surrounded by housing and

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have to worry about 10,000 people living around the farm.” While the bulk of the Schreurs’ business will be leaving the Casey area, the cousins at the helm of the farms will be sticking around for a while yet. “I can’t speak for the other cousins regarding any long-term relocations but I know I will be doing a bit of travelling and as I still have young kids at school here it won’t be goodbye just yet.”

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occupies was zoned as an urban growth area in late 2015 by the Victorian Planning Authority, causing a change to the amount the business pays in rates to Casey Council. “Since then rates have gone up and income doesn’t, it has become economically unviable to farm here,” Chris Schreurs said. The cousins have begun implementing a five-year plan to migrate the farming operations away from Clyde

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reurs bought the farm in Clyde in 1970. Since then the family has made a name for itself in vegetable production focusing on celery, leeks, spinach, snowpea tendrils, rocket, and baby leaf salad mixes. Cousins Chris, Adam, and Ben Schreurs took over operations of the farm in 2013 but the older generations of the farming dynasty retained ownership of the land. The land Schreurs’ farm in Clyde

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Clyde farming stalwarts Schreurs and Sons have confirmed they will be moving their base of operations away from the City of Casey to new fields in South Gippsland. One third of the team of cousins that run the vegetable farm from their current location on Twyford Road in Clyde North said the booming domestic property market in Casey had made their farm unviable. “The re-zoning of the land from agricultural to urban use forced us to re-think where we should grow and develop our business,” Chris Schreurs said. “One of the big drivers behind the move is that farming next to houses isn’t ideal, considering all the people around your farm.” Mr Schreurs also said the increase in population and traffic in the areas of Casey and Cardinia where the business had farm land had made transport logistics more costly and difficult to manage. “We have seen a noticeable difference over the last couple of years with our various farm locations,” he said. “A trip between farms that used to take five minutes can take up to half an hour and those important efficiencies of running the business get more and more difficult.” The Schreurs and Sons farms across Melbourne’s South East employ about 150 people and Chris Schreurs said the move would cause minimal job losses. “The jobs will still be there,” he said. “Some of the jobs will need to relocate but they will still be there and we will still have the Fisheries Road site to operate on, plus the other farms outside of Casey.” The Schreurs family has been farming in the South East area for generations - the current business owner's grandparents Joe and Johanna Sch-

News - Cranbourne - 27th April 2017  
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