Johan and Victoire are two extremes. He is peace itself, prefers to let his hands speak. She is the creative mind with the heart on her tongue. “That contrast is our strength. We complement each other perfectly. Together we are a super team that goes for it with 300 percent.”
Since 2000, the third generation of Salimans has been at the helm of the family business on the Bloemerstraat. A stable, healthy company for which grandfather Christiaan and father Wiel laid the foundation. Johan and Victoire feel closely connected to the neighbourhood. “The environment in which we do business is incredibly important to us,” says Johan. “We live and work among the citizens. Because we don't want to be a burden to anyone, we involve the neighborhood in everything we do and we try to act as responsibly as possible.” Victoire adds: “We have an interest in that ourselves. When we sit outside on our terrace, we don't want flies around us either. We also do not like smell and noise. The company must be clean and fit nicely into the landscape.”
Their business with free-range laying hens, fattening pigs and arable farming does not have to grow according to this philosophy. In fact, Johan and Victoire do not think in terms of scaling up. In order to be able to earn a living in the future, they prefer to look for sustainable solutions to cut costs and increase the return of their company.
The new feed preparation machine is a striking example of this. John explains. “A chicken weighs an average of 1.7 kilos and lays – with the exception of a few ATV days – an egg of about 63 grams every day. Believe me: that is top sport. And so the chickens must have a stress-free life. In order for that process to run smoothly, everything has to be right. The climate in the barn. The food. Compare it to a top hotel. Preston Palace can also leave nothing to chance for its guests. That is why our free-range chickens are fed “fire, homemade mik” every day, fresh feed that is prepared with a special machine. All raw materials are first intensively cleaned and sieved and then chopped into small, uniform pieces. That way, our chickens get all the ingredients they need to stay healthy and produce the best eggs.”
The list of innovations is impressive. Victoire has made it a sport to look for smart solutions for sustainable, social issues. In 2009, the couple was the first farm in Nederweert to switch to solar panels. Johan and Victoire also bought an installation in Australia that processes pig manure on a small scale. After processing, high-quality granules are made elsewhere; organic “fertilizer” that is in great demand among winegrowers in France. The latest innovation with which the Salimans family wants to push the boundaries is the so-called Fresh Light Agri Innovative lamps, covered with special fluff that reduces particulate matter and odour. “The discussion about particulate matter is also very topical in Nederweert. We feel responsible for our environment. With this innovation we think we have found a solution to this problem”, says Victoire.
Sustainable entrepreneurs who want the best for their animals and the neighbourhood. This is how we can safely characterize Johan and Victoire Salimans. People from all over Nederweert come to 'Ut eierkapelke' to buy fresh free-range eggs. Johan: “It is wonderful to see how many villagers and even children come to collect eggs on their bicycles. It feels good to give them a healthy and honest product from Mother Nature.”