The Beemster Polder is recognized as an Unesco World Heritage Site. Beemster cheese is a product typical of the region where it is made and is prepared by our Master cheesemakers using traditional methods. For over a hundred years, we have worked closely with our dairy farmers and their cows chosen for the excellence of the milk they produce. Beemster is proud to provide the finest cheese in the Netherlands thanks to our commitment to quality and respect for tradition.
Beemster cheeses are traditionally prepared at our own cheese dairy by our proud Master cheesemakers where we still stir the curd by hand to guarantee the quality of each and every cheese we produce. More than 100 years of experience is represented in the unique flavour and exceptional smooth texture of Beemster cheeses.
We prepare Beemster cheeses according to a secret recipe. What’s the most important ingredient? Patience! Natural ripening on untreated wooden boards ensures that the ultimate flavor is achieved. In some cases, the ripening process can be for more than two years, as for our Beemster X-O.
Beemster cheeses are sustainably produced with respect for the cows, the farmers and the environment. Our cheese is prepared in one of the ‘greenest’ of cheese dairy’s in the world - an exceptional building architecturally designed with the surrounding landscape of the Beemster Polder in mind. We have won several awards as the most sustainable commercial building in The Netherlands. Currently CO2 neutral, we hope to be climate neutral by 2020.
It may have started a long time ago, but our origins are an important part of the rich Beemster history that defines who we are today. As a progressive and growing company, we continue to honour our traditions - the cornerstone of the exclusive cheeses we proudly continue to produce.
In the past, farmers made their own cheese. Usually the farmer’s wife first separated the cream from the milk. The cream was used to make butter and the milk was made into cheese. Around 1900, farmers in the polder agreed to work together. They built small dairies where they made cheese with their own skimmed milk. The best known was the small Wilhelmina Dairy in the middle of ... the Beemster Polder.
Over the years, farmers within different sectors came together to form cooperatives. From 1930, those cooperatives began to join together. For example, De Wilhelmina joined with another Beemster Polder cheese dairy called De Unie. Their new joint venture became know as De Tijd. Interestingly, it was located on the Rijperweg in Westbeemster, where Beemster cheese is still made today.
In 1947, three cheese dairies in the province of North Holland decided to combine - ‘Concordia’ from Oudendijk, ‘Ons Belang’ from Middelie and ‘De Tijd’ from Beemster. Their cooperation was aptly named De Combinatie. It was later joined by ‘Neerlandia’ from Stompetoren.
In 1991, De Combinatie entered into a new collaboration with cheese dairy De Vechtstreek from Overijsselse Ommen. Together, these two companies formed CONO Kaasmakers, which remains the parent company of Beemster Cheese today.
In June 2001, Beemster Cheese was chosen as ‘Court Supplier’ by appointment of Her Majesty the Queen of The Netherlands. A huge honor when you consider that only companies with at least 100 years of experience and proven business practices are eligible. At Beemster, we are thrilled to continue in a tradition of excellence as ‘Court Supplier’ to our Royal Family.
In 2002, CONO decided to provide an additional incentive to farmers who let their cows graze in the meadows for a minimum of 6 hours a day, 120 days a year. Grazing by dairy cows is recognized as one of the most protective land use patterns. Not only a pleasure for the cows, it also means that Beemster cheese is made from 100% pasture milk. And, we’re proud of that!
In 2008, we started the innovative Caring Dairy programme that stands for happy farmers, happy cows and happy planet. From cow to cheese, our ambition is to support a honest and clear production process that is ‘as green as grass’.
In 2012 , we began the construction of our new cheese dairy and with completion in 2014, Beemster became the ‘greenest’ cheese dairy in the world. Our new eco-friendly dairy was designed with respect for the surrounding landscape of the Beemster Polder, a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Making the most delicious premium cheese means starting with the finest of ingredients – 100% pasture milk. Our pasture milk is produced by cows that have spent at least 6 hours a day for 120 days a year… grazing in the meadows! That’s where it all begins, and in the end… that’s what you’ll taste!
For more than 100 years, Beemster cheeses have been made in tune with the farmers, the cows and nature itself. Since 2008, we have incorporated our special Caring Dairy programme in support of Happy Farmers, Happy Cows and Happy Planet… for a honest and clear production process ‘as green as grass’!
The basis for Beemster cheese is fresh, creamy milk that meets our strict quality requirements. And that always begins with our Beemster farmers and our shared vision of sustainability. We strive to help our farmers get the most out of life, professionally and personally.
It’s simple: cheese comes from milk, and milk comes from cows. Cows are happy when they can graze when hungry, lounge on the soft ground, prance in the sunshine and simply take in the fresh air. At Beemster, we are convinced that a happy and healthy cow delivers the finest quality milk available for our cheeses.
The planet gives us all we need and we need to be careful and respectful in return. At Beemster, that’s something we’re aware of everyday. Our Beemster Polder offers everything we need to make the finest of cheeses: fertile soil, fresh grass, content cows and nutritious milk. We are grateful for that...and so are our customers!