Jane and Brian’s love affair with chestnuts began when a small farm they purchased happened to have some chestnut trees. Although they initially didn’t know what to do with them, once shown (by an old Italian friend) they were off and running and haven’t stopped since. That’s the thing with chestnuts, once you know what to do you just fall in love with them.
Both Brian and Jane have been actively involved in the chestnut industry with both serving on the board of the industry association at different times. Brian held the position of Chairman of the national chestnut association – Chestnuts Australia Inc from 2004- 2006 and is currently the Chair of the Industry Advisory Committee which oversees the allocation of industry levy funds. Jane was a previous Executive Officer of the association and is now on the promotions sub-committee. In 2011 they were made Life Members of Chestnuts Australia Inc in recognition of their long term commitment to the development of the Australian chestnut industry.
Their passion for chestnuts has taken them all over the world and together with their three children they spent three months in 2002 traveling around Northern Italy, Southern France (including Corsica) , Spain and Portugal experiencing chestnuts. They attended many chestnut festivals including ones in Cuneo, NW Italy; Mourjou, Cantal Region of France; St Andeol de Vals, Ardeche and the famous chestnut flour festival in Bocognano in Corsica.
In October 2004 they attended the Third International Chestnut Symposium in Charves, Portugal and returned to Europe in 2008 and again in 2009 when they organised a group of Australian Growers to visit Italy for the First European Congress on Chestnuts. There was 13 people in the group and they visited the Marradi chestnut festival, Garfagnana, the wonderful chestnut museum “Museo del Castagno” in Colognora as well as the Congress in Cuneo. With the success of this study tour they were asked to organise a group to attend the Second European Congress on Chestnuts in Hungary in 2013. A group of 15 traveled to Hungary and then onto the Ardeche region of France to experience the Castagnade Festival there.
They travel regularly to Japan and China with their export business taking Australian chestnuts to the world.
The Casey’s really know their nuts!